Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says a contact tracing smartphone app that will notify Canadians of exposure to the new coronavirus is now available.
Trudeau previously announced the creation of the app. It will be voluntary and if someone tests positive, other users who have the app and have been in proximity will then be alerted they’ve been exposed to someone who has tested positive.
Trudeau says privacy will be respected. Governments around the world have been turning to smartphone technology to help battle fresh virus flare-ups as they ease lockdown restrictions.
But technical problems and privacy concerns have dogged the development of virus tracing apps. The app which has been developed with the help of Canadian technology companies Shopify and BlackBerry.
During a press briefing Trudeau also announced Canada will begin to transition people off the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), its main emergency income support program and onto traditional unemployment benefits in September.
Canada started CERB to offer support to the millions of Canadians who lost their jobs amid COVID 19 shutdowns.
Trudeau said Friday, as the country begins to wind down the costly coronavirus aid plan the government will also create a parallel benefit for people who do not qualify for traditional employment insurance (EI), such as gig or contract workers.
“We intend to cover every Canadian who is looking for work with a better, 21st-century EI system. That is our goal,” Trudeau said at a news conference.