SwissCovid: five key facts about the contact tracing app

The SwissCovid contact tracing app helps to break the chain of infection. The more people who use the app, the more effective it becomes. These are the facts you need to know.

16.07.2020

Nicole Koch

Lockdown is over: over the last few weeks and months, Switzerland has gradually relaxed the measures for containing the coronavirus. People can once again participate more freely in social life. This increases the importance of tracing infections – in future, larger outbreaks can only be prevented if people who have been in contact with an infected person can be traced.  

That’s why the SwissCovid contact tracing app is being used in Switzerland. A study carried out by sotomo, commissioned by the federal government, shows that there is some uncertainty surrounding certain aspects of the app. 

SwissCovid contact tracing app Study carried out by sotomo (in German)

We’ve put together a list of the five most important facts about the app.

Five facts about the app

  • Installing the app is voluntary.
  • The data collected is only saved locally on your smartphone, and not on a central federal server.
  • No location or GPS data is collected.
  • You are the only person with access to your personal data.
  • The contact tracing app does not restrict your freedom. It’s quite the opposite: if the app is widely accepted, the general public can carry out their lives with a higher degree of normality.

What should I do in the event of an infection or notification?

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, you will receive a Covidcode (release code) from the cantonal authorities. This lets you activate the app’s notification feature. This will inform anyone you have been in contact with at a distance of less than two metres for more than 15 minutes. Of course, the app can’t tell if these people were wearing a face mask or if there was a plexiglass screen between you and the other person. However, walls (e.g. with your neighbours) are relatively effectively filtered out.

If you are informed via the app that you have possibly been infected, please do the following:

  • Call the SwissCovid infoline. The phone number will be shown alongside the notification on the app. You will get answers to all the important questions, such as whether you should still go to work.  
  • Protect those around you by reducing your contact with other people as much as possible for 10 days after the potential infection.