Speech by the Honourable Prime Minister & Minister of Tourism on the Launch of Samoa’s Travel Tracer App. Thursday 2nd September 2021.
Reverend Elder Mariota Siaea; Ministers of Cabinet; Members of the Diplomatic Corp; Heads of Government Ministries, Corporations and the Business Community;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Today I am pleased to officially launch Samoa’s very own Covid-19 contact tracing platform, a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health and Samoa Tourism Authority.
Since the start of the Pandemic, Governments and Stakeholders around the world involved in the fight against the virus have relied on data analytics and digital technologies to help contain the spread of the virus.
Mobile applications are a complementary response to the need to rapidly perform contact monitoring. They enable the automatic detection of close-contacts and thus help save precious hours of work that public health staff carry-out to trace a chain of infection.
Known as Samoa Travel Tracer, our own mobile application is a vital component of the Samoa Travel-Ready Toolkit.
The Toolkit is a robust framework consisting of core areas that must be developed to support the case to restart international travel when it is absolutely safe to do so.
Additional components of the toolkit include:
The Samoa Travel Tracer is based on the privacy-preserving BlueTrace protocol developed in Singapore. And I am pleased to share that the App was developed locally in partnership with SkyEye and the Samoa Information Technology Association.
The App uses Bluetooth to trace close contact between users.
Data collected will be anonymous and encrypted and used solely by the Ministry of Health for contact tracing purposes to help keep our community safe.
Samoa Travel Tracer will collect only your mobile number. Your name and address are not required for registration, nor will they be collected.
The App also does not collect or store information about your location.
As an App user, only you can give consent to the Ministry of Health to access your close-contact information and only after you grant your consent will Health officials be able to access information collected by the App on your phone.
Samoa Travel Tracer is available on the Google Play and App Stores and I encourage our community to download the App and help ensure Samoa is well placed to respond to any spread of Covid-19.
In a related development I am pleased to share that the ‘Beautiful Anticipation’ microsite, a central hub for travellers, industry and trade partners to rediscover everything Samoa has to offer, as well as the latest information on Samoa’s travel ready preparations recently went live.
And without further I do, it gives me great pleasure to officially launch the Samoa Travel Tracer App.