Why use the COVID Tracker app
COVID Tracker is a free and easy-to-use mobile phone app that can:
- alert you if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
- advise you on what to do to protect yourself and others
- alert other app users that you were in close contact with, if you test positive for coronavirus
How the app protects you and others
Speeds up contact tracing
Contact tracing identifies people who may be at risk from coronavirus because they were in close contact with someone who has the virus. If the contact tracing team identify you as a close contact, they can advise you on what action to take to protect yourself and others.
The app will help our existing contact tracing operation by:
- reducing the time it takes to alert you if you're a close contact to 3 hours
- alerting contacts that you might have forgotten you met up with
- enabling us to contact people who are unknown to each other
Contact tracing is a vital part of slowing the spread of the virus. The more people that download and use the app, the more it will help contact tracing.Read more about how the app works
Alerts you to close contacts
If the app finds that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you will get an app alert.
You won't know who the contact is or where the contact happened. You'll just know that you were close enough (within 2 metres) for long enough (more than 15 minutes), for there to be a risk that you could have been exposed to the virus.
The alert will advise you to:
- restrict your movementsfor 14 days orself-isolateif you have symptoms
- get tested for coronavirusif appropriate
The alert will appear as a notification on your phone. It will also pop up within the app. This is to make sure that you see it.
You'll be asked if you want to receive close contact alerts when you first set up the app.
Optional follow-up call
You may decide you want a phone call as well as an app alert, if the app finds you are close contact. You can change this setting at any time.
If you share your number and become a close contact of someone who has the virus, our contact tracing team will call you. They will give you advice and arrange a coronavirus test for you.
If you choose not to share your number with us the app will provide you with:
- text information on what to do next
- a number to call so that you can arrange to have a test for coronavirus
You will still be contacted by our contact tracing team if someone who has tested positive for coronavirus identifies you as a close contact and provides your phone number.
Keeps others safe if you test positive
If you test positive for coronavirus, you can use the app to alert anyone you have been in close contact with.
Our contact tracing team will phone you if you test positive.
They will ask you to identify all your close contacts, including those who do not have the app. They will also ask you if you have the app.
If you have the app, they will ask you to upload the anonymous IDs that your phone has shared for the last 14 days. You do this using the app. It's your choice if you want to do this.
If you agree, the contact tracing team will send you a unique upload code by text message. This code unlocks the upload functionality on the app.
Only the HSE can issue upload codes if someone tests positive. People who do not have the virus will not be able to use this function on the app.Read more about the technology the app uses
Tracks your symptoms
You can use the COVID check-in function to:
- track how you are feeling each day
- find out if you havesymptoms of coronavirus
- get advice quickly on what to do
Any health information you share on the app is anonymous.
Logging your symptoms each day can:
- help you remember when you first became unwell
- be a useful reminder if you need to later speak with your GP
- get trusted advice quickly
- help the HSE map and predict the spread of the virus
Latest news and information
You can use the app to follow the latest facts and figures about coronavirus in Ireland. You'll also be able to get information that will help you to care for yourself if you are sick.
Protects your privacy and data
- It's your choice to use the app or not.
- You choose what information you want to share, or not.
- You are never asked for your name, age or address.
- You will remain anonymous - other app users won't know who you are.
Put public health advice first
The Covid Tracker app has been designed to make the best use of the health advice and technology available. But it’s not perfect. It should not replace the existing public health guidelines.
It's still important to:
- social distance - keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people
- wash your hands properly and often
- cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- wear face coverings when you can't social distance
- get tested if you have symptoms or have been in close contact
Talk to your GP
The app provides the most up-to-date health advice. But it’s always best to talk to your GP or a healthcare professional if you have anysymptoms of coronavirus.
You will have the option to get a call from the HSE’s contract tracing team if you become a close contact. They will give you advice on what you need to do.
Improving contact tracing
The app is designed to help improve contact tracing so that we can slow the spread of the virus. It makes the best use of Bluetooth technology to do this. But Bluetooth is not 100% perfect. No method of contact tracing is 100% perfect.
That’s why we use two ways of contact tracing:
- our contact tracing team calling people who may be at risk
- the COVID Tracker app
Using two methods will improve contact tracing, help slow the spread of the virus, and protect you and others.Read more about Bluetooth and how it’s used as part of contact tracing
If you cannot use the app
We know that some people may have phones that cannot download the app and some may not have phones at all.
The app is one part of our contact tracing operation. Our contact tracing centre will remain operating. Everyone is included in that process, whether they use the app or not.
We hope future versions of the app will make it accessible to more people. We are continuing to look at solutions to include everyone over the age of 16.