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Germany and Austria to switch to Apple’s contact tracing API

Adoption of Apple’s coronavirus contact tracing API is finally gathering pace after Germany and Austria became the latest countries to announce their intention to switch to the system this week.

Apple worked with Google to create the Exposure Notification API with the aim of helping the health services in respective countries to track the spread of COVID-19.

It does this by using Bluetooth tech to notify Android and iOS users when they have been in close proximity to someone who has the coronavirus or who is showing symptoms.

Apple released the API in an update for iOS 13 in May, but the system has not yet been embraced wholesale by every country with some preferring to chart their own path.



The UK and France rejected the use of the API and revealed plans to work on their own systems.

However, more countries now appear ready to adopt the tracing API.

Germany revealed this week that it had made a U-turn on its initial decision not to use it.

A Reuters report noted: “European countries cautiously emerging from the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic are looking to a second generation of contact tracing apps to help contain further outbreaks.”

The softening stance is largely due to the improvements made to the apps since Apple rolled out the API a couple of weeks ago.

Switzerland was the first country to make use of the API within an app and Italy followed soon afterwards.

Germany, Austria, Latvia and Estonia are among the countries that plan to adopt it in the near future.

A report from earlier in the weekend even claimed that the UK is considering a switch after its own app ran into a series of major security and legal issues.

As more countries and consumers become aware of how the API works, adoption is likely to increase yet further.

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