Do any countries have a functioning Covid-19 tracking app?

24 June 2020, 14:27 | Updated: 24 June 2020, 14:29

By Adrian Sherling

Boris Johnson claimed at Prime Minister's Questions that there are no countries who have functioning Track & Trace apps. LBC did a fact-check to see if that's correct.

When Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asked him when the UK was going to get a working mobile app, the Prime Minister said: "I wonder whether the Right Honourable Gentleman can name a single country in the world that has a functional contact tracing app. Because there isn't one."

Sir Keir responded with the example of Germany. But LBC has looked deeper to establish whether any other countries have a functioning coronavirus app.

Germany's Corona-Warn app has been one of the most successful contact tracing apps
Germany's Corona-Warn app has been one of the most successful contact tracing apps. Picture: PA

The Corona-Warn app was released on 16th June and has been downloaded more than 12million times. Their app uses the Google/Apple technology that the UK has moved towards. German football teams even wore the logo of the app on their kit to encourage downloads.

Emmanuel Macron was one of the first countries in Europe to launch their app, with the StopCovid France app launching on 2nd June. However, only around 2% of the population has downloaded it.

Singapore launched their Trace Together app in March. However, only 20% of the population downloaded it and they are now believed to be moving towards a wearable device for tracking that doesn't need a smartphone.

South Korea
South Korea are among the countries who have been most successful in beating the virus and they do not have an app for the general population, preferring to use mobile phone data instead. However, people entering the country must download a tracing app.

38% of the population have downloaded Iceland's app, which relies on GPS rather than bluetooth.

6.1million people have downloaded the Covid-Safe app in Australia, around a quarter of the population. That app uses bluetooth to trace who a person has been in contact with.

Italy's Immuni app works in a similar way to the majority of app, using bluetooth technology. They have had around 2.2million downloads.

Italy's Immuni app, launched on 1st June
Italy's Immuni app, launched on 1st June. Picture: PA

Other countries which had also launched an app include Israel, Japan, Poland and Denmark.

So a lot of countries have launched their contact tracing apps. The question now is whether they could be considered "functioning".

The take-up for most of them has not been as high as desired. The UK government said they needed 60% of the population to download it, while other countries have aimed for 40%.

Most haven't got close to that number. So whether Boris Johnson is correct in saying no other countries have a "functioning" app is up for debate.