A independent fact checking charity has scruitinised claims by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that 'no country currently has a functioning track and trace app'.

UK-based website Full Fact have investigated the claims made by the PM in Parliament on Tuesday, June 23.

What did Mr Johnson say in Parliament?

In Parliament on June 23, Boris Johnson said: “Yes of course it’s perfectly true that it would be great to have an app, but no country currently has a functioning track and trace app.”

What was the response by Full Fact?

A statement from the charity says: "Multiple countries have launched apps, including Germany, France, Australia, Singapore and Latvia.

"However uptake has been fairly low, and it’s too early to say whether they will be effective in helping combat Covid-19."

They added: "How accurate this claim is depends on what you understand by “functioning”.

"Multiple countries have launched contact tracing apps (which use the phone’s built-in technology to detect when the user has been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for Covid-19), and those apps have been downloaded by millions of people. 

"Although these apps could certainly be described as “functioning”, it is important to note that track and trace apps are not expected to be particularly effective unless they are downloaded by a large percentage of the population.

"Many countries that have launched apps have seen problems with the level of uptake.

"There are also concerns that the underlying Bluetooth technology that most these apps rely on may not be able to reliably provide useful information about what contacts have occurred."

So which countries have launched a functioning coronavirus app?


In France, a mobile track and trace app ‘StopCovid France’ was launched on June 2.

On June 16, Reuters reported that 1.5 million people had downloaded it, about two per cent of the French population.

The French app uploads contact data to government-run centralised servers.


Germany’s Corona-Warn-App was launched on June 16, and has so far been downloaded 12.2 million times.

According to a report by Reuters, it uses existing Apple and Google technology and measures close contacts using Bluetooth short-range radio.

Contacts are logged securely on devices rather than a centralised server. 


In March, Singapore launched its track and trace app based on Bluetooth technology called Trace Together.

Earlier this month, Forbes reported that Singapore was planning on rolling out wearable tracking devices that will not rely on smartphone ownership, after just 20 per cent of the population downloaded the original app.


Iceland’s track and trace app, which uses GPS tracking instead of Bluetooth, was launched in April.

In May it was reported to have been downloaded by 38 per cent of the population.

South Korea

New arrivals in South Korea are required to download an app through which they must report any symptoms while in mandatory quarantine.

The country's broader contact tracing effort does not use a Bluetooth contact-identification app, instead using location data from phone networks among a range of personal information to reconstruct the movements of confirmed cases.


So far, a total of 6.1million people have downloaded the Covid-Safe app - which is about a quarter of the population.

Australia's app uses bluetooth to trace who each person has been in contact with.


The Immuni app works in a similar way to the majority of other tracing apps - using bluetooth technology.

To date, they have had about 2.2million downloads.

Have any other countries launched an app?

Yes - a number of other countries have launched an app. They include; Israel, Japan, Poland and Denmark.