Germany’s health minister said Sunday that its contact tracing smartphone app will be launched this week, Reuters reported. The app uses short-range Bluetooth to contact people who may have been exposed to someone who contracts the coronavirus, and doesn’t rely on a centralized database, according to Reuters.
Contact tracing involves interviewing infected people to find out where they’ve been and who they may have been in contact with, with the goal of slowing the spread of the virus. While several other countries have already launched contact tracing apps, progress has been slower in the US, with concerns about privacy and accuracy.
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Germany is set to relax its travel restrictions for European Union countries and the UK on Monday, and Health Minister Jens Spahn said the country will offer travel advice to foreign visitors. Germany has had more than 186,000 cases of coronavirus and 8,787 deaths, but has been hailed for its widespread testing efforts and social distancing measures.