“This is my Plan A and I really want Plan A to work.”
Mr. Morrison compared using the tracing app to national service.
“I know it would be something that maybe they wouldn’t normally do at an ordinary time, but it’s not an ordinary time,” he said.
“If you download this app you will be helping to save someone’s life.”
Better contact tracing is one of the top three criteria the government wants to meet before strict restrictions can be lifted.
The other two are a broader testing regime and a greater capacity to respond to local outbreaks.
Mr Morrison said the app would not be used by police as evidence to prosecute people for violating social distancing requirements.
Australia’s deputy chief medical officer Paul Kelly said his deployment would begin on a voluntary basis.
This would allow contact tracers to have information immediately rather than waiting for hours or even days as they currently do.
âThe app would be one more piece to this puzzle and that element of speed is the crucial thing,â Professor Kelly told reporters in Canberra.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese – who discovered the app in the newspaper – is worried about the possibility of being forcibly followed.
“One of the things that would happen if this was the government’s response would be people would just stop picking up their phones from places,” he told reporters.
âFrankly, it is up to the government to explain exactly what they have in mind with this app and to be very clear with the Australian public as to whether this will be voluntary or if it will be a certain level of constraint. “
Privacy concerns are addressed before an opt-in application is launched.
The application is developed on the basis of a Singaporean version, TraceTogether.
It uses Bluetooth to track people who have spent 15 minutes or more near someone with coronavirus.
They then share the files with authorities when asked to be part of a tracing investigation.
Australians should stay at least 1.5 meters from others and gatherings are limited to two people, unless you are with your family or household.
If you think you have contracted the virus, call your doctor (do not visit) or contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are having trouble breathing or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
SBS is committed to keeping various Australian communities informed of the latest developments related to COVID-19. News and information is available in 63 languages ââat sbs.com.au/coronavirus.