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Contact tracing app to be rolled out this week

The Gibraltar Government is set to launch its ‘Beat Covid Gibraltar’ contact tracing app this week, the Chief Minister announced yesterday, reassuring the public it will not hold any personal details of users.

Speaking at yesterday’s 11am briefing, Fabian Picardo said that, unlike the app issued in the UK, the one in Gibraltar will not hold or store any personal data or anyone else’s that the person has come into contact with.
The app will be available to download for free from the App Store and Google Play.

If the user tests positive, they can enter a unique code provided by the GHA which will then notify any other phone users, via push message, if they have been in close proximity for more than 15 minutes.

“The app will provide invaluable support to the Contact Tracing Bureau and will enable us to respond early and quickly to those that have been at risk of infection,” Mr Picardo said.

“In the majority of cases, people will be asked to self-isolate and will be monitored by the GHA.”

During his briefing, Mr Picardo issued a stark message for those people questioning the motives behind the app.

He said: “The Government, and I in particular, have zero interest in where you have been, whom you have been with and what you are doing.”

“Do not allow anyone to fool you into thinking otherwise with some hare-brained idea which is based on the use of another type of app, not the type of app we have in Gibraltar.”

Mr Picardo said that if there was a second wave of Covid-19 and people had not downloaded the app, there could be a delay in advice that they had been in contact with a person with the virus.

“You will, at best, feel like a fool if you have perhaps, as a result, infected your family or your work colleagues,” Mr Picardo said.

“You will feel much, much worse if one of the people you infect is a loved one who then dies.”

He urged people to download the app when it is available, adding that it is there to protect everyone.

“That is the communal thing to do for your own safety and the safety of your loved ones,” Mr Picardo added.

“It is the only real way to express your solidarity and do your bit going forward.”

At present there are two people who are self-isolating after testing positive with Covid-19, one resident in Gibraltar and the other in Spain.

The Chief Minister said one was identified during the random testing carried out on frontline workers, while the other is the only symptomatic test Gibraltar has had in a month.

A total of 10,272 tests have been carried out since the start of the public health emergency, with 174 individuals testing positive for the virus.

This includes 4,596 frontline workers who were swabbed, of whom 30 were found to have contracted Covid-19