After much anticipation, the Dutch CoronaMelder contact tracing app can finally be implemented nationally. On Saturday, October 10, the app will be fully operational throughout the country.

Widespread use of the app has been held up in Parliament since August, due to the Netherlands’ privacy laws. Today, the Second Chamber and the Senate have finally approved a new law, which regulates the use of the app.

Over two-thirds of the Senate voted in favour of the law — 51 senators supported it while 19 voted against it. Those in favour believe that the law provides security against the misuse of the app. Senators in opposition, however, are concerned that citizen data will be traced and privacy rules will be violated.

How it works

When the app is downloaded, every time your phone is near another phone with the app installed, the phones exchange a random code, which is stored in both phones. If someone becomes infected, those whom they have come into contact with can be easily traced and notified.

People who have come into contact with someone infected with the coronavirus will receive a notification and will be required to quarantine for 10 days, whether or not they have symptoms. This poses a potential problem with testing capacity, which Minister De Jonge expects to address quickly.

Use of the app is voluntary. Health Minister Hugo de Jonge has emphasised that no one should be pressured to download the app. Employers, for example, cannot ask their employees to install the app.

The CoronaMelder app has undergone testing in five regions of the Netherlands over the last couple of months. So far around 1.3 million people have already download the app.

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Do you intend to use the CoronaMelder app? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below.

Feature Image: Canva/DutchReview

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