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Belgium the latest to launch contact tracing app based on Apple/Google tech

Belgium Coronalert App
Belgium Coronalert App (Image credit: Coronalert)

What you need to know

  • Belgium has launched its own contact tracing app.
  • The app, called Coronalert, will alert citizens if they have been in close contact with an infected person.
  • Coronalert is available to download for free from the Belgium App Store.

Reported by NWS, Belgium has rolled out its own contact tracing app to its citizens. The app, called Coronalert, is available to download from the Belgium App Store now. According to the report, the app will work in all three regions and different languages in the country.

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès announced the introduction of the app last week and, according to a government official, the app is completely operational and ready to be used by the full population.

PM Sophie Wilmès (Francophone liberal) announced the arrival of the new corona app Coronalert following last Wednesday's meeting of the national security council. Belgium's interfederal Committee Testing & Tracing has confirmed the app has been tested and works: "Technically everything is operational. We just need to keep an eye on communication between patients and their family doctors" an official said.

Coronalert is built on Apple and Google's Exposure Notification technology, which protects user privacy while still allowing someone who has tested positive for the virus to alert those who they have been in close contact with.

The app is intended to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and will record who you have been in contact with anonymously. When a doctor prescribes a corona test, the app user can generate a code that is linked to this test. If the test is positive, the app will receive this information and everybody who has been in close contact with the infected person will be alerted.

As the app's description explains, the app's main goal is to break the spread of COVID-19 by alerting those who have been potentially infected so that they quarantine themselves before potentially passing the virus to even more people.

Coronalert aims at breaking the infection chains: the app tells you when you may have come into contact with someone who has subsequently received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. The application serves as a digital complement to social distance, hygiene and mask wearing. It uses Bluetooth technology and Apple/Google exposure notification APIs. However, it does not collect personal information at any time. Who you are and where you are remains secret - and your privacy is well protected.

iPhone users in Belgium can download the Coronalert app (opens in new tab) for free on the Belgium App Store now.

Joe Wituschek
Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.