Testing of interoperability service for contact tracing kicked off

Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Latvia participate in the pilot

Photo: EP Thierry Breton.

To exploit fully the potential of mobile proximity contact tracing and warning apps to break the chain of coronavirus infections and save lives, the Commission is setting up an interoperability gateway service to ensure that apps will work seamlessly also cross-borders.

Users will only need to install one app and will still be able to report a positive infection test or receive an alert, even if they travel abroad. On Monday, an important milestone has been reached as a group of Member States starts testing the infrastructure: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Latvia participate in the pilot.

Many Member States have implemented national contact tracing and warning applications, Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Single Market, noting that it is now time to make them interact with each other. Travel and personal exchange are the core of the European project and the Single Market and the gateway will facilitate this in these times of pandemic and will save lives, he pointed out.

According to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, “coronavirus tracing and warning apps working across borders can be powerful tools in our efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19”. With cases on the rise again, apps can complement other measures like increased testing and manual contact tracing, she said adding that if used widely enough, they can help us break the chains of transmission. We will not stop fighting on all fronts against the pandemic, the Commissioner asserted.

In the fight against coronavirus, most Member States have launched a national contact tracing and warning app, or plan to do so. The setup of the interoperability gateway service by the Commission follows the agreement by Member States on technical specifications to deliver a European solution to ensure a safe exchange of information between the backend servers of national contact tracing and warning apps based on a decentralised architecture. This covers almost all such apps launched in the EU. The gateway is developed and set up by T-Systems and SAP and will be operated by the Commission.

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