The German government’s COVID-19 contact tracing app is set to launch sometime this week. The new app uses the Apple/Google privacy-protecting API. The app may be released as soon as Tuesday.
Reuters reports the German government has confirmed the app’s impending release but says the government wouldn’t confirm an exact release date.
Germany’s smartphone app to trace coronavirus infections is ready to be launched this week, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday.
After delays to ensure the bluetooth technology would work at the correct distance, the government says the app will be a vital tool to help avoid a second wave of infections.
“It’s coming this week,” Spahn told ARD television, but he declined to confirm German media reports that the app would be launched on Tuesday.
The German app release comes two weeks after Italy launched its own contact-tracing app, which also uses the Apple/Google API. Other European countries are expected to release apps based on the API.
The country is also today lifting a blanket ban on travel from the UK and EU countries, replacing it with travel advice tailored to specific countries and regions.
Germany already began opening its borders to neighboring Austria, Switzerland, and France on May 16 under tightly controlled conditions. As of June 15, the country is set to fully relax borders and restrictions on inter-EU travel.
As can be expected, not everyone is okay with the lift on travel restrictions. The lifting of the travel ban has caused concerns among some German doctors who fear a second wave of infections. Hajo Zeep, a senior medical expert from the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology in the city of Bremen, last month warned that there is still not enough herd immunity to prevent another spike in infections.
For its part, the German government is simply urging caution, asking people to avoid unnecessary travel.