30 May, 2020 @ 17:54
1 min read

How Gibraltar’s own contact tracing phone app will work in the fight against COVID-19


THE Rock’s own contact tracing phone app is set to be rolled out within the next couple of weeks.

The Government has been developing the app with big technology companies like Apple and Google.

It was also revealed in Parliament that the antibody blood testing will also be starting as from June 1.

In the GHA’s pilot project, 5,000 tests will be carried out on staff for those who wish to take it.

It comes as 20 people have now been detected of having the Coronavirus.

This is a sharp increase from yesterday’s 13 with active cases being as low as two after Gibraltar left lockdown on May 22.

Some 7,430 people have been swab tested in Gibraltar, with nearly 3,380 consisting of front-line personnel.

The number of 20 active cases consists mainly of local residents after a big surge in the cross-frontier infected earlier in the week.

Gib Pix Corona2
NEW NORMAL: Cross-frontier workers, many in key areas, have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks

Privacy concerns

Ministers in parliament revealed that point of the contact tracing app is to alert people via their smartphone whether they have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19.

It is thought that the application will rely on Bluetooth technology to communicate with other mobile phones to make this work.

The application will send an SMS or text message to the number saying that they have been close to a person who has tested positive and will be told to self isolate. 

It is hoped that over 60% of locals will use it to trace who COVID positive patients have been near to keep an eye on the movement of the virus.

The community has had some concerns over the privacy of any contact tracing application but Minister for Telecommunications Albert Isola has said that the public ‘can remain calm.’

He told Parliament on Friday that the contact tracing application will ‘not use, collect or share any personal data’ as it relies on a decentralised system.

“It is completely data-free to avoid people being concerned that they are being tracked or traced, when that is absolutely not the intention,” said Isola.

The decentralised system he refers to means that the application on people’s phones will store anonymous information, and no server or database will hold on to any of this information.

When a person gets tested positive, the GHA will provide the person with a code to put into the application.

It will let their phone alert other people when there is a chance they could be infected.

Diexter Thomas

Photographer and Reporter situated in Gibraltar. Got a story? Call +34 951 27 35 75 or email [email protected]

1 Comment

  1. This “track and trace” nonsense is designed to make it look as though the powers-that-be, know what they are doing. It relies on the absurd faith that people have in their (actually dumb) smartphones. Thousands of people cross the frontier every day. It can’t be possible they can all be tracked and traced. Take one example. If a person displays symptoms after bus journeys, or on any other public transport, how on earth can those exposed people be traced? Here’s another, if a lovely, brave checkout worker, displays symptoms, how will all her/his clients be traced? With a bit of thought, numerous other examples can be found. There is a Gadarene rush for “normality”. My personal choice is, gloves, a mask and a spray bottle of surgical spirit (90% alcohol). Grab the essentials and hurry home, then wash and disinfect everything. Sod the smartphone magic wand.

    Location : malaga

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