Denmark to shut down Smittestop Covid-19 tracing app

The Local Denmark
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Denmark to shut down Smittestop Covid-19 tracing app
Denmark's Smittestop Covid-19 tracing app will be no more after March 31st. File photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Denmark’s Covid-19 contact tracing app Smittestop will become inactive by March 31st, the country’s health ministry said on Friday.


The Smittestop app will be shut off  due to the positive trend of the Covid-19 epidemic along with the current Danish Health Authority testing recommendations, the Ministry of Health said in a press statement.

Earlier this month, the Danish Health Authority said that Covid-19 testing was now only recommended if there is a “special medical reason” for doing so.

Infection numbers and hospitalisations with Covid-19 are meanwhile declining and are expected to continue do so into the spring.


The government has therefore decided to switch off Smittestop, originally launched in June 2020, in accordance with Danish Health Authority guidelines, the ministry said in the statement.

READ ALSO: Denmark’s Covid-19 contact tracing service to release 90 percent of staff

The app will receive an update on March 25th which will contain a notification to users that it is now no longer active. Once the app has been updated, it can no longer be used to register positive Covid-19 tests, nor will users receive notifications of potential close contacts.

If the app is not updated, it will automatically become inactive on March 31st.

All data in the system will be deleted as the service is closed, the ministry said. Local data from the app may be stored on users’ phones. This can also be deleted manually once the app is inactive and will also automatically delete after 14 days.

During its 21-month run after being introduced in June 2020, Smittestop was downloaded 2.5 million times and used to register an infection 500,000 times, according to the Ministry of Health.

It has helped to “hinder several thousand chains of infection”, the ministry said.

It will be saved as a contingency version should future waves of the pandemic demand contract tracing be upscaled again.


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