July 9, 2020 / 7:19 PM / a month ago

Slovenian parliament endorses coronavirus contact tracking app

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia on Thursday approved the use of a coronavirus contact tracking app which will be obligatory to use for those who are infected or who are in quarantine.

The Slovenian parliament endorsed the use of the app by 50 votes to 23.

The centre-right government of Prime Minister Janez Jansa says the app is necessary to curb the spread of the infection as the number of new cases escalated in July. The country has so far reported 1,776 coronavirus cases and 111 deaths with 13 new cases confirmed on Wednesday.

“The installation and use of the mobile application will be voluntary and free, except in cases where a person tests positive or is ordered to stay in obligatory quarantine,” Labour Minister Janez Cigler Kralj told parliament on Thursday before the vote.

The app will be introduced in the coming weeks.

At present Slovenia enforces a 14-day quarantine on people who have been in countries with a large number of infections or who have been in contact with an infected person.

Opposition parties said the use of the application could breach personal data protection rights and give people a false feeling that they are safe.

The opposition Left party said it planned to ask a court to rule on whether the obligatory use of such an application is in line with the constitution.

Earlier on Thursday Slovenia reduced the number of people that can gather in a public space to 10 from 50 previously, with some exceptions.

Slovenia in May became the first European country to declare an end to its coronavirus epidemic but people still have to wear masks in public spaces and keep social distance.

Reporting By Marja Novak; Editing by Toby Chopra

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