Here’s what you need to know about the new COVIDSafe app:
Almost 5 million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe app. All Australians with a mobile phone are encouraged to get the app and help slow the spread of coronavirus and support the easing of restrictions.
What is the COVIDSafe app?
The COVIDSafe app is a new public health tool to help slow the spread of coronavirus in Australia. It will help keep Australians safe by speeding up the process of notifying people who have been in contact with someone with coronavirus. The app is in addition to practising good hygiene and physical distancing as well as the increased testing of the population.
The app operates in the background on your phone as you go about your day. It uses Bluetooth to find other phones with the COVIDSafe app and records the date, time, distance and duration of contact. The app does not record your location. The app notes the device you have been within 1.5 metres of for 15 minutes or more.
This information is encrypted and stored in the app on your phone. Not even you can access it.
Contact information is only stored in the app for 21 days and after this time is automatically deleted. This period allows for the maximum 14-day incubation period of the virus, and the time it takes to confirm a positive test result.
How do I set up the app?
You can download it from app stores on Android and iOS. The app is free and downloading it is voluntary.
After downloading, you register by entering a name, phone number, postcode and age range.
When COVID-19 is no longer a risk, you will be prompted to delete the COVIDSafe app from your phone. This will delete all information stored in the app.
How does COVIDSafe help protect the community?
If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, state and territory health officials will ask you for information about everyone you have been in contact with recently. If you have downloaded the app, you can choose to give the health officials access to the information on the app (which would have recorded who you had been in close contact with). This will enable the health officials to contact those people more quickly and prevent the spread of the virus.
Who will use the information?
Only the public health officials in your state or territory will have access to this information, and only so they can contact and let you know:
- what to look out for
- whether you need to quarantine
- how, when and where to get tested, and
- how you can protect yourself and your family and friends.
More information about COVID-19
It is important to stay informed through official sources. Visit australia.gov.au, call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or the translating and interpreting service on 131 450.
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