Belgium extends Coronalert tracing app coverage to 10 EU countries

The Belgian Coronalert tracing app now also works in 10 other European countries.
The the app can now also exchange data anonymously with the Corona apps in the Netherlands (Corona Melder), Germany (Corona Warn) and the comparable apps in Cyprus, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Lithuania, Poland and Spain. 

What are the advantages of using Coronalert?

With Coronalert you are more quickly informed when you came into close contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. Speed is very important to be able to protect yourself and others appropriately. And to slow down the further spread of the coronavirus.

Coronalert allows you to warn others anonymously about a high-risk contact, even if you don’t know them personally, even if this was a few days ago. After all, you may have already been contagious, and only then experience symptoms, undergo a coronavirus test and get the test result.

Coronalert notifies you that you are infected as soon as the test result is available. Coronalert then asks you to anonymously send the secret codes that your phone sent out during the period that you became infectious to a central server. Others who find these secret codes on their phone will know that they have had a high-risk contact with an infected person. They won’t find out where or with whom.

Since 6 January 2021, Coronalert is working with the official contact tracing apps of Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Latvia, Croatia, Poland and Cyprus. Every close contact with a user of these apps is registered, just like with other Coronalert users, regardless of where the contact takes place, in Belgium or abroad (provided, of course, that both users have their app and Bluetooth turned on at the time of contact).

The full list of compatible apps can be found on the European Commission’s website.

Please note, it is not possible to receive the result of a foreign Covid test in your Coronalert app! It is therefore best to choose the app of the country where you live, or most likely would seek medical care.

Coronalert is built on the European open standard DP3T (Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing). Similar apps are active in many countries, which can technically collaborate with Coronalert. They exchange information about who is infected via a European node. Thanks to the node, you can also use Coronalert in other countries, or detect a contact with foreign app users in Belgium. coronalert tracing app

The app is currently available in English, Dutch, French and German. The language of the app is automatically matched to the default language configured in your smartphone’s language settings.

If your phone is set up in another language than these four, Coronalert will by default be installed in English.

 

How Coronalert tracing app works?

Contact detection is carried out by telephone or home visit via a contact centre common to the regions and communities (Brussels, German-speaking Community, Flanders and Wallonia) in the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19). By systematically contacting citizens who may have been in contact with an infected person, together we want to avoid new infections as much as possible. Contact detection is done by telephone through a joint contact centre of the Regions and Communities (Brussels, German-speaking Community, Flanders, Wallonia). The federal government (FPS Public Health, Sciensano, eHealth platform) provides support in the area of information exchange.

Coronalert is an additional means of making contact tracing faster and more complete, with minimal inconvenience to the citizen. The telephone contact tracing primarily investigates contacts with acquaintances – friends, family, colleagues. Coronalert also allows accidental contacts to be notified anonymously.

Coronalert will warn others anonymously, only if:

  • You provide your app code (17 digits) when your Covid-19 test is prescribed, either through the prescriber (e.g. GP) or via the web form, and
  • You receive a positive test result in your Coronalert app, and
  • You choose to warn others anonymously when you receive the result, and
  • You have been in close contact with the other app user before this one-time alert.

After receiving the test result, and alerting others voluntarily, you will be asked to go into isolation. Coronalert will then no longer detect any new contacts.

Coronalert does not work as a permanent notification of a known infection. This is not desirable out of respect for privacy and medical secrecy.

And of course, Coronalert cannot detect a Covid-19 infection, which was not detected by a lab test and which was not voluntarily shared by the person concerned. coronalert tracing app

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