THE Government has announced that their contact tracing app for COVID-19 is now available for the public to use.

The application is called ‘BEAT Covid Gibraltar’ and can be downloaded on the Apple’s App Store.

Android devices will be able to download the contact tracing app as from next Monday.

“The goal is to as quickly as possible, reduce the further transmission of the COVID-19 virus by informing App users that they have been close to a person who has tested positive.” said the Government.

With zero reported active cases of COVID-19 at the moment on the Rock, the app may not even be needed or used in the weeks to come.

However, there are currently 51 people self isolating at home, many consisting of people who have been in contact with COVID positive patients, who could also have the virus after the incubation period.

“We encourage everyone to please download the app,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“This will be a very strong weapon in Gibraltar’s fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

Conspiracy theories about the app have been circulating around social media regarding privacy, although Minister for Digital Services Albert Isola has repeatedly said that the app will not process any personal data.

“The app is designed with your privacy in mind,” said Isola.

“In our fight against this virus, it is essential that people support our efforts by downloading the app.”

He said the program would only work optimally if over 60% of people in Gibraltar install the application on their phones.

Many people remain sceptical or unmotivated to use the app, meaning it may not get as many downloads as the Government would like.

CATERING

As reported earlier this week, catering businesses such as restaurants will now be restricted to open only until midnight until August 1.

It comes after crowds of people gathered outside restaurants on Chatham Counterguard breaking social distancing rules.

Orlando Yeats of the Gibraltar Catering Association said it was ‘unfair’ and ‘unreasonable’ to question to ban all business after midnight for the actions of a few.

However, most restaurants across the border in Spain have been forced to close at 12am, which is now being echoed by the Gibraltar government.

Bars and pubs will be opening from June 22, requiring people to follow social distancing rules.

These establishments would need to apply to the Department of Public Health in order to have their bars available for usage in the weeks to come.

“Existing restaurants, cafeterias, or any other catering establishments who now wish to accommodate the bar area of their business, are required to apply, said the Government.

“Applications will be considered and permits will only be granted where processes and procedures are deemed satisfactory, so as to minimise the risk of transmission of the infection,” 

The guidelines and application forms can be requested from The Environmental Agency.

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