The government's CoronaMelder app can be downloaded from Monday, but will be unusable in most parts of the Netherlands until at least 1 September. Only in Drenthe and Overijssel can users turn to the local GGD if the app warns them that they have run the risk of being infected with the corona virus.
The app will be tested in these two provinces for the next two weeks. This means that a GGD employee, together with an infected person who uses CoronaMelder, can send warnings to other app users who have been in the vicinity of this person.
People from Drenthe and Overijssel who receive such a warning can then have themselves tested at the GGD, even if they have no complaints. In other parts of the Netherlands, with the exception of Schiphol, you can only get tested if you experience (mild) complaints of the corona virus.
The app is available throughout the Netherlands via the App Store (iPhones with iOS 13.5 or higher) or the Play Store (Android smartphones with Android 6.0 or higher).
This means that smartphones with CornaMelder can also exchange signals with other phones after installation, provided the app is installed. This creates a log of smartphones that have been near each other. Users cannot find out who exactly is involved from the exchanged codes.
If someone from Drenthe or Overijssel turns out to be infected and wants to send a warning to other app users, anyone with the app can receive that notification, regardless of where they are in the Netherlands. However, if they don't live, work or vacation in either of those two provinces, they can't do anything with such a warning. The 22 GGDs in other parts of the country do not offer tests for these app users.
This is how you activate the CoronaMelder app:
- Download the app from the App Store (iOS) or Play Store (Android)
- The app works via bluetooth. You can activate this by pressing the icon (a combination of ᚼ and ᛒ) in the control panel
- Open this panel by swiping down from the top of the screen, or from the bottom to the top on iPhones without Face ID
- The app also asks whether you want to activate the exchange of signals in the settings of your smartphone
- On Android: Settings> Google Settings> Exposure Alerts for COVID-19
- On iOS: Settings> Privacy> Health or Bluetooth> Exposure to COVID-19
- Smartphones can exchange signals throughout the Netherlands if smartphones are near each other. Codes in the log are deleted after two weeks.