Irish Covid Tracker app now linked to apps from Germany and Italy

ByLance T. Lee

Oct 19, 2020

The Irish Covid Tracker app is one of the first to be interconnected with other countries in Europe, starting with Germany and Italy.

Ireland’s Covid-19 contact tracing app will now be interconnected with national apps in Italy and Germany. This means that people with the Irish app will receive an alert if they are in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19 and has installed an approved app from an EU member state on their phone.

It is part of a new EU-wide system, known as the Interoperability Gateway Service, which has been developed by the European Commission (EC) to link national Covid-19 applications across borders. It launched today (October 19) after a successful pilot.

The system consists of a digital infrastructure that exchanges information about anonymized identifiers to and from the main servers of the participating national contact tracing and alerting applications.

As with national applications, anonymized identifiers will only be stored in the gateway for a maximum of 14 days. The EC has confirmed that individual apps only connect to their own national main server and that different countries’ main app servers do not connect directly to each other.

The gateway was developed and implemented by the companies T-Systems and SAP, and is operated from the EC data center in Luxembourg. While the gateway service will initially work with apps from just three countries, the EC said two-thirds of apps developed by EU member states are compatible.

“So proud of what Ireland have achieved”

The Covid Tracker Ireland app is part of the first wave of national apps linked through the European Interoperability Gateway. Once they’re ready to connect, the number of interconnected apps is expected to increase later this month and into November, with more apps invited to connect later.

“I am very proud of what Ireland has achieved, being one of the first countries to interconnect apps at EU level with Germany and Italy,” said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. , TD.

“Ireland has always been a leader in the development of contact tracing apps and has had one of the most successful contact tracing app launches in the world, with huge uptake in the first 24 hours. . While general advice in Ireland is currently against non-essential travel abroad, this system will benefit those undertaking essential travel to and from Ireland.

So far, the app has had 2.1 million sign-ups with an active user base of 1.31 million, representing 34% of the Irish population over the age of 16.

NearForm, the Waterford-based company behind the Covid Tracker Ireland app, is currently rolling out its technology. He helped launch contact tracing apps in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Jersey, Gibraltar and several US states including New York.

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