Google-Apple Friendly Coronavirus Contact Tracing App

Jun 05, 2020

As of May 29 Latvia is the first country in the world to introduce a particularly safe and easy virus exposure notification application "ApturiCovid" (Stop Covid) made in Latvia to even better protect our society from the virus. Among participants are our members: airBaltic, Accenture, Bite Latvija, Banka Citadele, Luminor Latvija, Riga Business School, Sakret and SOS Children's Villages in Latvia.

The app is intended to increase reaction time to potential exposure to COVID-19 to reduce spread and ultimately eradicate the virus. The application is available on iOS and Android to all two million residents of Latvia, with the code available for adaptation in other countries and communities.

"Apturi Covid" is a voluntary, decentralized, fully GDPR-compliant app. It uses Bluetooth technology to identify other nearby devices that also have the app installed. Individuals will only be notified if they have been in proximity of 2 meters (6 feet) to an individual for more than 15 minutes who has tested positive for COVID-19. They will receive a message asking them to self-isolate to prevent the further spread of the disease. Due to the decentralized and encrypted nature of the app, it aligns with EU regulations on data protection. The availability of the newly released exposure notification API by Google and Apple is a fundamental building block to ensure widespread use of the app.

Latvia is experiencing one of the lowest incidences of infection per capita in Europe, whilst simultaneously enforcing some of the lowest restrictions on movement. This was accomplished through combining early social distancing restrictions with extensive manual contact tracing. 

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