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What you need to know about SwissCovid Proximity Tracing App

As of June 25, Switzerland has its own proximity tracing app and at the time of publishing it has already been downloaded over 300 000 times.

Here are some things you should know:

Where can I download the App?

The app is found in both Apple and Android App Stores. Its called SwissCovid.

How does it work?

The app works in the background of your phone and only notices phones that are within 1.5 meters of each other. It then times how long the encounter was but does not note the location nor the identity of the person. Should a person be diagnosed with the virus they can, on a voluntary basis, share this within the app, which will then notify anyone who was in contact with that person of the date and time the contact took place but not revealing the identity of the infected person. It is then up to the individuals to take the next steps of self-isolating or getting tested.

Devices only exchange random IDs. The app does not gather location data or data on your identity. The random IDs are stored on your device for 14 days and then deleted.

The app automatically recognises when two users have been in close proximity for a certain time. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to do this. No GPS, mobile, WiFi or other location data.

Report of potential infection

The app notifies you if you may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

By responding appropriately, you can break the chain of infection and protect other people.

Problems

Older phones (Iphone 6 or older) may not be able to download the app and to date there are no collaborations with other countries meaning that it probably will not help you if you travel abroad.

You can find out more on the app by going to this link.

charlie.hartmann@livinginluzern.swiss

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.

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