Ireland achieves world first in contact tracing app interoperability – Minister Donnelly

As of today, Ireland has achieved a world first all-island approach to contact tracing apps.

Regardless of whether people use the Irish COVID-19 Tracker App, or the Northern Ireland contact tracing app, they can be assured that their phones will be able to ‘talk to each other’ using rolling, anonymised keys/ Bluetooth handshakes.

Both apps now allow people to be alerted where they have been in close contact with someone with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis – regardless of whether that person was diagnosed North or South of the border or is carrying the NI app or the Irish app.

Speaking today (Friday), Minister Donnelly said: “I am so proud of what Ireland has achieved here.  We had one of the world’s most successful app launches, with a huge uptake in the first 24 hours.  As of today, over 1.46 million people have downloaded it.  Now we have another world first, with cross-border interoperability.

“Public health has always been an all-island effort, and contact tracing has always been undertaken across the border from both sides.  The apps that Ireland and Northern Ireland have developed are another important tool in that effort, which will make sure that no matter where you are on the island, you can be sure that your app will work and you can be notified of any close contacts if you need to be.

As we head into a Bank Holiday weekend and enjoy some time off, I want to ask people once again to keep your gatherings small, know who you are in contact with, and download the app from the Apple or Play stores, to stay safe and to protect each other.”

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