What is the COVIDSafe app?

Developed by the Federal Government, COVIDSafe is a new tool, to be used alongside manual contact tracing, testing and physical distancing, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Australia.

Created as a public health initiative, the app uses mobile phone technology to automate some aspects of the contact tracing that state and territory health officials are already doing manually.

To download the app, please visit the Australian Department of Health’s website.

How do I download the app?

Download the app by visiting the Australian Health Departments webpage.

How does the app work?

You can download the COVIDSafe app from one of the app stores, and enters their name, phone number, postcode, and age range. This information is uploaded to a secure data storage system and is used to generate an encrypted reference code.

Once the app is downloaded, you don’t need to do anything. For the app to be effective, it will need to run in the background of your phone with the Bluetooth activated. The app will take care of the rest.

The app operates on your phone as they go about their day-to-day activities. It securely logs the encrypted reference codes of other app users, along with the date, time, distance and duration of the contact.

How will I be notified if I’ve been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case?

With the infected person’s permission, the data from their app will be used to help notify anyone they’ve been in contact with.

The encrypted contact information from the app will be uploaded to a highly secure information storage system. State and territory health officials will then:

  • use the contacts captured by the app to support their usual contact tracing
  • call people to let them or their parent/guardian know they may have been exposed
  • offer advice on next steps, including:
  • what to look out for
  • when, how and where to get tested
  • what to do to protect friends and family from exposure

Will the app tell people I have tested positive to COVID-19?

No,they will be told they’ve been a close contact to a confirmed case, but health officials will not name the infected person.

I’m concerned about my privacy. Is my information safe?

COVIDSafe has been developed to ensure your information and privacy is strictly protected. The app has a range of privacy and security safeguards, including no collection of geolocation data and secure encryption.

The app only uses the information that’s needed to identify close contacts and allow health officials to contact them and provide advice.

The contact information is encrypted and stored in the app on the user’s phone and is only stored in the app for 21 days. This period allows for the maximum 14-day incubation period and the time it takes to confirm a positive test result. Information older than 21 days in the app is automatically deleted.

For further information, please visit the COVIDSafe Privacy Policy for details on how personal information collected in the app is handled.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: May 01 2020