European Commission announces adoption by Member States of interoperability guidelines for approved contact tracing mobile applications in the EU

The Commission has announced that, following adoption of the EU toolbox for the use of mobile apps to support contact tracing in response to the coronavirus pandemic, Member States, supported by the Commission, have adopted interoperability guidelines. The Commission notes that most Member States have launched or are planning to launch an approved mobile contact-tracing app as part of their national COVID-19 crisis management strategy.

In the Commission’s view a key principle of the interoperability guidelines is that users should be able to rely on a single app wherever they are in the EU at a certain moment. Whatever the approach taken with approved apps, the Commission says that it, together with “all Member States”, consider that interoperability between these apps and between backend systems is “essential for these tools to enable the tracing of cross-border infection chains”. Ultimately, this effort will support the gradual lifting of border controls within the EU and the restoration of the freedom of movement.

The Commission says that the interoperability guidelines will be complemented by interoperability specifications for cross-border transmission chains between approved apps. This will be supported by structured discussions between Member States through the eHealth Network. To read the Commission’s press release in full and for access to the interoperability guidelines, click here.