The COVIDSafe app is a tool that helps identify people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps us support and protect you, your friends and family. Please read the content on this page before downloading.
COVIDSafe app help
About the app
Make sure you keep the app 'active'.
The COVIDSafe app is part of our work to slow the spread of COVID-19. COVIDSafe supports the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.
The COVIDSafe app is completely voluntary. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker we can find the virus and prevent the spread.
The COVIDSafe app is now available in several languages.
Translated information about COVID-19 and the COVIDSafe app is available to download and use:
User guide to download the COVIDSafe app (fact sheet)
How to download the COVIDSafe app (video)
Stay COVID free – do the 3 (poster)
Stay COVID free – do the 3 (video)
General information on COVID-19
Resources – COVIDSafe app
Watch this video about how to use the app.
Our path back depends on three critical things before restrictions can be eased.
Further increasing testing to make sure we can identify people who have coronavirus, even if they’re not showing symptoms.
More rapid health response teams to quickly stop out-breaks.
And the new COVIDSafe app that lets people know quickly if someone they’ve had contact with has tested positive for Coronavirus.
The Government, health workers, and scientists are all playing their part and they need your help.
The more people who download the app, the fewer places the virus will have to hide.
Keeping you, your family and your community safer.
Here’s how it works.
Using the same Bluetooth technology that searches if your headphones or car are nearby, your mobile phone securely and anonymously takes note of other app users you come in contact with.
This information is encrypted and stored locally on your phone.
If someone you have been near in the past 21 days later tests positive for Coronavirus, health workers can contact you quickly and let you know what steps you will need to take to keep yourself, and those around you safe.
It’s a necessary part of the plan to ease restrictions by making sure we can get on top of any outbreaks quickly when we start going about our day-to-day lives again.
The app can be downloaded easily by searching COVIDSafe in your app store or by visiting health.gov.au for more information.
Thank you Australia for helping to stop the spread and save lives.
Authorised by the Chief Medical Officer, Canberra.
Watch the NDIS video about how to get and use the COVIDSafe app.
What COVIDSafe is for
The COVIDSafe app helps state and territory health officials to quickly identify and contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 (called ‘close contacts’).
Without the help of technology, finding close contacts relies on people:
- being able to recall everyone they have been in close contact with
- knowing their contact details
In many cases, people won't know the names and contact details of everyone they’ve been in close contact with (for example, on public transport). COVIDSafe uses technology to make this process faster and more accurate.
State and territory health officials can only access app information if someone tests positive and agrees to the information in their phone being uploaded. The health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested.
The COVIDSafe app is the only contact app approved by the Australian Government.
How COVIDSafe works
You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. You register to use the app by entering:
- a name (which can be a pseudonym)
- age range
- mobile number
You will receive a confirmation text message to complete the installation. Based on this information, COVIDSafe generates an encrypted reference code for the app on that phone.
For COVIDSafe to work, it must be running in the background on your phone. You can use other apps at the same time.
COVIDSafe uses Bluetooth® to look for other devices that have the app installed. It takes a note of a contact when it occurs, through a digital handshake. It securely logs the other user’s encrypted reference code and the date, time, Bluetooth® signal strength and proximity of the contact on the user’s phone, and notes the phone model. This information is then securely encrypted and stored on the phone.
COVIDSafe does not record your location.
COVIDSafe stores contacts on the phone for 21 days. This allows for the 14-day incubation period of the coronavirus, plus the time taken to confirm a positive test result. The rolling 21-day window allows COVIDSafe to continuously note only those contacts that occur during the coronavirus incubation window. It automatically deletes contacts older than 21 days.
Nobody can access the encrypted information on your phone, including you.
When an app user tests positive for COVID-19
If you test positive for COVID-19, a state or territory health official will ask you to consent to upload your digital handshake information to the National COVIDSafe Data Store. If a child tests positive, the health official will ask the child’s parent, guardian or carer for consent.
The uploaded information enables state and territory health officials to call close contacts to advise them on what to do. State and territory health officials must undertake system training before they can access the National COVIDSafe Data Store.
Health officials will not name the person who was infected.
After the pandemic
When the Minister for Health declares the COVID-19 pandemic over, users will be prompted to delete the app from their phone. This will delete all app information on a person’s phone. The information contained in the National COVIDSafe Data Store will also be destroyed at the end of the pandemic.
Deleting the COVIDSafe app
You can delete the COVIDSafe app from your phone at any time. This will delete all COVIDSafe app information from your phone. The information in the National COVIDSafe Data Store will not be deleted immediately. It will be destroyed at the end of the pandemic. If you would like your information deleted from the storage system sooner, you can complete our request data deletion form.
Your information and privacy are strictly protected.
Downloading and using COVIDSafe is voluntary. The app has a range of privacy and security safeguards built in. It uses secure encryption and does not collect data on your location.
On 14 May 2020, Parliament passed the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Act to support the COVIDSafe app and ensure users’ privacy is protected.
Read more about privacy matters:
- The Attorney-General’s Department explains how legislation protects your information.
- We commissioned a Privacy Impact Assessment to ensure we have addressed privacy risks. We have responded to the report.
- The COVIDSafe website covers privacy and security topics.
- We have entered into bilateral agreements with each state and territory health authority about collection, use and disclosure of COVIDSafe app data.
More information on COVIDSafe
For more on the COVIDSafe app, see:
- Help topics (technical support)
- Background to COVIDSafe (overview, purpose and privacy matters)
- Report on the operation and effectiveness of COVIDSafe