Belgium’s coronavirus tracing smartphone app, Coronalert, can now exchange data with similar apps in ten other European countries due to a shared framework.
Thanks to the architecture behind tracing apps in many European countries being the same, it is possible to link them with each other, according to Bart Preneel of the KU Leuven, who co-developed the Belgian app.
This means that from now on, anyone with Coronalert on their phone will not only exchange anonymous data with other users in Belgium, but also with the apps from:
- The Netherlands
- Additionally, Finland’s app should also be added to the list soon.
Coronalert will not exchange data with France’s app, as the French version of the app was built differently, reports De Standaard. Luxembourg does not have an app.
Good News For Border Workers
The president of Belgium’s interfederal taskforce for Testing & Tracing, Karine Moykens, stated that this was very good news for people who live, work or shop in border areas.
“Until now, you could only exchange data with people who had also installed the Belgian app. From January 6, if you are in high-risk contact with someone who has, for example, the Dutch or German app, anonymous codes will also be exchanged.”
National coronavirus tracing apps, however, cannot register a Covid-19 test that was carried out in another country. “If someone commutes between two countries, they have to enter the test in the app of the country where the test was taken,” said Preneel.
So far, the Belgian app has been downloaded about 2.3 million times. A more in-depth explanation of how Coronalert works can be found here.
The Brussels Times