Prime Minister Scott Morrison rules out forcing Australians to download a coronavirus tracing app.

April 18, 2020 11:35:12
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ruled out forcing Australians to download a coronavirus tracing app, one day after the deputy chief medical officer left the door open to making it mandatory.
Key points:

  • On Friday, Scott Morrison said it was his ‘very strong preference’ that Australians download the tracing app voluntarily
  • The Federal Government needs at least 40 per cent of people to sign up for the app to work effectively
  • The Prime Minister is asking for the support and cooperation of Australians

The Government is developing an app to bolster its ability to trace the contacts of infected Australians but has warned it will not be effective unless at least 40 per cent of Australians download it.
The app would use data from people’s phones to inform health authorities of close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Yesterday, deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said the Government would “start with voluntary” downloads of the app, before determining whether more action was needed.
“I’ve always been a believer in the Australian people making the right decision,” he said.
“As I’ve said, this is an add-on to what we have in terms of contact tracing and case finding, so I think we need to make the case for an app.
“I think we start with voluntary and see how that goes.”
But this morning Mr Morrison tweeted that the app would not be made mandatory.
“The app we are working on to help our health workers trace people who have been in contact with coronavirus will not be mandatory,” he said.
“We will be seeking the cooperation and support of Australians to download the app to help our health workers, to protect our community and help get our economy going again.”
The tweet clarifies comments from Mr Morrison yesterday, in which he said it was his “very strong preference” that Australians download the app voluntarily.
The Government’s app will be modelled off of one used in Singapore.
However only 20 per cent of people there have downloaded it.
The app is called TraceTogether and uses Bluetooth to create a record of other nearby phones that also have the app.
But it does not track people’s location.
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