What should I do when the application notified me about a risky encounter with an infected user?

If you have symptoms of infection (e.g. high temperature, cough, stuffiness, sore throat, headache, or a sudden loss of smell or taste), call your general practitioner. In case of an emergency, call 155 for an ambulance or 112 for the integrated rescue system. The mentioned symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after the risky encounter.

If you have no symptoms please act responsibly:

  • Wear a mask or respirator over your mouth and nose.
  • Wash your hands with soap thoroughly and use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Sanitize your personal belongings (e.g. your mobile phone) regularly.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Use disposable tissues and throw them away after use.
  • Avoid unnecessary large group gatherings and keep a safe distance (approximately 2 meters).

Otherwise, you can live normally. It is possible that a public health officer will contact you soon after epidemiological investigation with the infected person. In that case, follow the officer's instructions.

If your health deteriorates within 14 days after the risky encounter and you experience COVID-19 symptoms, contact your general practitioner.

What shall I do when I am positive for COVID-19 or I received an SMS with a verification code for eRouška?

If you received and SMS from the laboratory saying you are positive for COVID-19, you should also receive another SMS with the eRouška verification code within a few hours. eRouška messages are sent automatically after your results are saved in the information system. They are sent daily between 8 am and 7 pm.

If you receive an eRouška SMS message with a verification code, please follow these instructions. This will allow you to anonymously notify other users about the risky encounter. Thank you!

So every time the app says that I was in contact with and infected person, I will have to stay in quarantine or get tested?

If a person tests positive, they are contacted by the public health office to find out who they have been in risky contact in the past days so they can slow spreading the infection down. If that person uses eRouška, they can notify even those who they do not know at all, e.g. when commuting. They can notify other app users via a unique code.

When the app notifies you that you encountered a person tested positive for COVID-19, you should follow the recommendations and contact your general practitioner or emergency department in case you experience health problems.

Will eRouška find out if I break my quarantine for example by going to my cottage?

The application doesn't track your location – it's not its purpose – and it's not designed for it either. It will not find out if you have broken your quarantine or where you have gone. On the contrary, it should help to quarantine only people with a confirmed infection or suspect cases.

Why is eRouška needed? Can it effectively protect me from the virus?

One of eRouška's goals is to stop further spread of the infection by isolating potentially infected individuals from the rest. Therefore, there is no need to introduce full quarantine and limitations. This decreases the impact of the pandemic on the society and economy of the Czech Republic. Similar applications were also introduced in other countries and are an effective tool to fight against COVID-19.

eRouška 2.0 is a complementary application of the Smart quarantine – Ministry of Health's system. Using Bluetooth technology, eRouška connects to other eRouška apps nearby and saves their anonymous identifiers. If a user is tested positive for COVID-19, a public health officer contacts them and checks whether they use eRouška. If they do, they will send them a verification SMS code which allows the user to send their anonymous identifiers to other eRouška apps. Other users' apps then evaluate whether they were in close enough contact according to the epidemiological model*. In such case, the app will notify them and motivate them to get tested. Therefore, eRouška 2.0 helps to inform other potential transmitters of the infection and speeds up their testing. This decreases the number of infected individuals in the society and the risk of you getting infected, too.

* Closer than 2 metres apart and longer than 15 minutes.

What if someone does not admit they are infected?

This can also happen. However, we believe that eRouška users want to actively help stop further spread of the virus, and use the application in order to alert people with whom they've come into risky contact. Intentional spread of COVID-19 is a criminal offence in the Czech Republic.

Is it worth installing eRouška if there are not enough people using it?

This is the reason why you should not hesitate. The more of us use eRouška, the better network to protect us and warn against risk we will create. Help us. You can actively join the fight against COVID-19 by installing the app. You can also tell people around you about it and help them install it.

What should I do if I'm tested positive?

First, you should contact the public health office which you belong to locally, if they haven't already contacted you. The authorised employee will provide you with information on what to do next and, if necessary, send you the verification SMS code so that you can send keys from your eRouška. Next, you should call your general practitioner who will discuss your treatment.

In case of serious health complications, call 112 or 155.
Look for new information on the website of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic.

How does eRouška differ from other similar apps?

It is not possible to find out where and when you were located from the app. eRouška does not record your geographic location (does not use GPS), but recognizes other nearby devices with eRouška using Bluetooth LE technology. This information is anonymous.

Apart from that, eRouška does not send any data by itself. The data stays in your device. It is only possible to send anonymous identifiers (keys) to the server and then to other eRouška users after a public health officer contacts you if your test is positive. During the call, they will ask you whether you use eRouška and they can send you a verification code. When you enter this code in the app you can send your keys to other users' apps for evaluation and notification.

What is the Smart Quarantine? What is the role of eRouška in it?

It is a set of clever measures that protect people from contagion and the economy from collapsing. Instead of keeping the whole nation in quarantine, the Smart Quarantine enables finding, testing and isolating only infected individuals and people with suspected infection.

More specifically, it is a system of management in forecasting, decision support, active contact tracing, testing including sampling point capacity management, laboratories, managing quarantines and related material and IT delivery to contain the pandemic of COVID-19. Smart Quarantine 2.0 is the name for transition of the project under the Ministry of Health which will be able to quickly react to any epidemics in the future thanks to new tools that are being developed.

eRouška application is one of the tools that were developed to support Smart Quarantine (in Czech). Using technology – eRouška – we can actively notify risky individuals who encountered an infected person to implement more protective measures, consider voluntary quarantine, and contact their GP in case they experience COVID-19 symptoms. We believe that thanks to these steps, we can contain the spread of the infection and save health care from a fatal overload.

Do you plan to translate the web and the application to other languages?

Now, we are translating the application and the eRouška.cz website to English. We are planning to translate it to Vietnamese and perhaps to other languages as well. Try updating the app to the newest version.

How eRouška works

How is data collected and processed?

Your smartphone with eRouška will record anonymous identifiers (ID) from other devices with this application via Bluetooth LE. It stores information about the “encounter” and its length in its internal memory.

If you are contacted by a public health officer due to a positive test, you will receive an SMS with a verification code. You will enter this code in the app and send your anonymous identifiers to the server, from where other eRouška apps can download them for evaluation. The algorithm in each user's app will automatically evaluate the recorded data – compares the identifiers with all encounters – display a notification that the user is in risk due to a risky encounter, and recommend further steps.

You can find detailed information about data collection and processing in Information about personal data processing in eRouška 2.0.

How does eRouška evaluate risky encounters?

Epidemiologists established that a risky encounter is one that takes place closer than 2 meters apart for more than 15 minutes. eRouška aims to measure this with available technology as precisely as it can. The distance between the users' phones is estimated using Bluetooth signal strength. The length of the encounter is evaluated during measure windows: every few minutes, the phone checks whether there are other phones with eRouška nearby.

A more frequent logging of other nearby devices with eRouška increases the precision of measurement, but it also increases energy consumption. Measurement algorithms are set up by Apple and Google in their Exposure Notification protocol, which eRouška uses. eRouška developers can only partly change some parameters and filter results.

What if eRouška misinterprets a contact with another person who is, for example, in a car at a crossroads, behind a door or a thin wall?

The eRouška application works by measuring the signal strength between two devices. Technically, it cannot be ruled out that a false detection occurs. You can read more about technical limitations, risks of app use and the process of encounter evaluation on Reliability of risky encounter evaluation and on Technical requirements in Terms and conditions.

In order to evaluate the contact as risky, it is important to measure the distance (up to 2 m) and length of contact (at least 15 minutes) – therefore stopping at traffic lights is insignificant.

So everyone will know I have COVID-19?

No, they won't. If you are tested positive, your identity is only known to the public health officer. People that you encountered will never know who, where or when you could have infected them. The application only displays the general information about risky encounters and recommends further steps. Your identity is safe.

I was tested for COVID-19. When can I expect the SMS with a verification code for eRouška?

First, you will receive test results in an SMS from the laboratory. The lab also sends the results to the central information system of the Ministry of Health. After the results are copied to the public health office's system, automatic eRouška SMS messages with verification codes are sent. If the lab results are not copied in the health office's system by 7 pm, you will receive the SMS the next day. This time frame was chosen so that the code does not expire at night.

Does eRouška use Apple/Google API?

The new version eRouška 2.0 for Android and iOS uses Apple/Google Exposure Notification API. Remember to update your eRouška app in Google Play (Android) or App Store (iOS) and activate it again.

What is Apple/Google Exposure Notification API (protocol)?

Together, Apple and Google develop technologies which can be used by public health institutions (Ministry of Health) to develop national applications for tracing risky encounters with individuals with COVID-19.

It is an interface which allows specific apps (eRouška in the Czech Republic) to reliably access system tools of Android and Apple devices and log encounters – mainly to use Bluetooth LE to verify the contact and run in the background without any more settings of the app or the operation system. Encrypted communication protocol then ensures a safe transmission of current lists of identifiers of infected individuals between tracing applications in order to evaluate risky encounters and send notifications.

Find more information directly on Apple and Google websites.

I can't see My data page in the new app. Where can I find information on stored encounters?

eRouška 2.0 is built on Apple/Google Exposure Notification protocol which manages a secure storage and evaluation of encounters. Due to security reasons, it does not let the app directly access the data of encounters.

On the main screen, you can see whether the app is working correctly. Information about stored encounters is saved in the system. You can find it in Settings:

  • Android: Settings → Google →COVID-19 Exposure Notifications
  • iOS: Exposure Notifications → Exposure Logging Status → Exposure Checks

How will I know that eRouška works if I cannot see any encounters? Why don't I see the app icon in the status bar?

We removed notification icon because storing and evaluation of encounters is done by Apple/Google protocol in the system. The app is responsible for downloading keys (identifiers) of infected users once or twice a day and does not need to run permanently.

You can view the app status on its main page. You can then check that the keys were downloaded in the Settings:

  • Android: Settings → Google →COVID-19 Exposure Notifications
  • iOS: Exposure Notifications → Exposure Logging Status → Exposure Checks

Why does the date and time of "Last data update" on the main page of eRouška differ from date and time of "Exposure Checks" that I can see in Settings?

eRouška shows the date and time of the last successful attempt to check new keys (identifiers) of infected individuals on the server. Phone Settings show date and time when the keys were last found and evaluated.

Keys of infected users download once or twice a day.

Why can't I view the exact time of a risky encounter in eRouška?

eRouška is built on Apple/Google Exposure Notification protocol which manages logging and evaluation of encounters in the operating system. Apple/Google protocol allows eRouška to access only the date of a risky encounter so that the privacy of users is ensured.

Why do I see "Found keys: 0" in Exposure Checks in the phone Settings?

It means that eRouška has not evaluated any encounter as risky. In other words, downloaded keys of infected users do not match keys stored in your device.

Why do I see keys for specific dates in the phone's Settings > Exposure Checks but eRouška does not display any risky encounters?

The number of keys indicates the number of logged encounters with infected individuals. However, they might not be risky encounters. If an encounter was not risky (longer than 15 minutes and closer than 2 metres), eRouška will not notify you about it. That's why you cannot see it in the app.

I received a notification about a risky encounter that took place several days ago. Why did eRouška only notify me now?

eRouška cannot evaluate risky encounters and display notifications before the user with a positive test sends data from their eRouška. If today you receive a notification that you have encountered an infected individual several days ago, it means that the person only sent their data yesterday. Your eRouška downloaded and evaluated the data today.

I received a notification about a risky encounter, but I can see several logs with various dates on the Risky encounter page.

eRouška evaluated risky encounters after a user who tested positive for COVID-19 sends data from their eRouška. If you received one notification but there are more logs on the Risky encounter page, it means that you have met that person more than once or that more than one user sent their data on the same day.

Installation and compatibility

For which phones is eRouška available? Why are the requirements stricter than in eRouška 1.0?

To install eRouška, you need a mobile device with the following parameters:

  • iPhone with iOS 13.5 and higher
  • OS Android 6.0 and higher with Google Play Services (only a small percentage of Huawei phones and some phones with their own ROM do not have this)
  • Bluetooth LE (Low Energy)

If your phone is not compatible with eRouška (it does not have the necessary features) Google Play Store or Apple App Store will not let you install it. The application is available only for some Android tablets. It is not available for iPads.

Apple and Google define the minimum requirements of compatibility. They are based on the Apple/Google Exposure Notification protocol which the new eRouška uses. We decided to start using the Apple/Google protocol to make sure that the app works on iPhones and to be compatible with similar applications in other European countries.

Where can I safely download and install eRouška?

You can only download eRouška from Play Store for Android and App Store for iPhone.

Is it possible to download the application outside Google Play or Apple App Store? Is an apk available?

eRouška 2.0 uses Apple/Google protocol to log encounters and transmit data. Therefore, it depends on Google Play Services, without which it would not work, so it is not possible to install it from other than official app stores. Google Play and Apple App Store will automatically filter for compatible devices.

eRouška developers never provide users with links for installation packages (APKs) or installation files outside official application stores. We would not be able to guarantee security, updates or user support for unofficial app installs. Please, do not download eRouška from .apk files that you find online or receive by email. They might contain viruses, trojan horses or other harmful content.

Can I use eRouška with another tracing application of a foreign country?

You can install more tracing apps along eRouška. However, if they also use Apple/Google Exposure Notification protocol (especially in neighbour countries), only one of them can be active at any given moment. You would need to pause the others. Only one app can access the Apple/Google protocol's logging feature.

In the future, only eRouška will be needed because European countries are working on common compatibility of applications. Until then, you can use the local app.

Will I be able to use eRouška on smart watches or smart wristbands?

This might be possible in the future. Right now, we are not developing this because the smart watch or wristband would need to support Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) and Apple/Google protocol. Basic Bluetooth without LE only manages data transmission but cannot measure the intensity of user encounters via signal strength.

Connection and data transmission

Do I need to keep Bluetooth turned on all the time?

Yes, you do. Without Bluetooth turned on, it is not possible to detect nearby devices with the eRouška application. You may have already enabled Bluetooth if you use wireless headphones, a smart watch or a connection with your car. We recommend you to set Bluetooth to be visible for all devices.

Does eRouška need internet connection?

Apart from downloading and activating the application, internet connection is necessary for daily downloads of anonymous identifiers of infected users. Assuming that you are tested positive, a public health office will ask you to send the data, for which you will also need internet connection. Until then, your data is stored only in your phone and they are automatically deleted after 14 days. The app also uses internet connection to download information about current COVID-19 epidemic situation in the Czech Republic which is displayed on the News page.

How often does the app update online data?

eRouška downloads keys (identifiers) of infected users once or twice a day. Statistics on the News page are updated once a day.

How much data does eRouška consume daily?

According to our measurements, it is about 300 kB for 500 newly identified cases daily. This update is downloaded once or twice a day (to compare, a regular web page requires about 1–5 MB of data). The app does not necessarily need mobile internet connection, because it can download data when on WiFi.

Why do I need to allow the application to access GPS/location data?

eRouška does not collect or store GPS data, but the Android operating system also includes some Bluetooth LE (LE = low energy) services, which eRouška components need in order to function properly – specifically, Google Play Services. Therefore, the user's consent to the application's access to location data is required. This consent is not required on iOS. Google explains why location services must be enabled in the phone.

How much battery do Bluetooth and eRouška app drain?

If you already use a phone with Bluetooth enabled, power consumption will not increase significantly.

If you do not actively use Bluetooth, the results of our testing where Bluetooth was turned on all the time showed that energy consumption increased by units of percent per day. In most cases, it is less than 20% of battery capacity per day. It depends on the specific smartphone, your style of use and battery condition.

If you find the energy consumption too high, please check your → battery / power settings to check if it is caused by another app running in the background.

Is it possible that after turning on eRouška, my Wi-Fi or internet connection slowed down?

Unfortunately, some Android mobile phones' Bluetooth negatively affects Wi-Fi signal and vice versa.

Why does the app use Bluetooth? Are there no better alternatives such as GPS or triangulation from phone network operators?

User privacy comes first, and Bluetooth technology offers the best balance between logging accuracy and maximal privacy. Neither GPS technology nor operator triangulation can provide necessary data with the required accuracy. Among other things, it is because their functionality inside buildings or metro is very limited. eRouška needs to know that an encounter has occurred, at what distance and its duration. It does not matter where the encounter took place.

Is Bluetooth a secure enough technology?

Bluetooth is a widely spread standard for connecting mobile devices with other devices such as wireless headphones, speakers, smart wristbands or smart watches. Since Apple and Google have developed the common protocol only for national Bluetooth LE-based contact tracing mobile applications, we are convinced that it was the right choice for eRouška as well. However, it has to be said that each and every technology has vulnerabilities. That is why we recommend our users to regularly update their apps as well as the operating system. The OS updates often contain important security patches.

Data security

How do I know which data the application stores and sends?

eRouška application 2.0 uses Apple/Google Exposure Notification API which allows for collecting data and transmitting identifiers among users. Thanks to that, the application does not have a direct access to logged data which could be displayed to users, as it did in the previous version 1.0.

The app does not send any data on its own. It only downloads the list of identifiers from users who were confirmed as positive with COVID-19. Only the user can send their own data, and only after entering an SMS code which they will receive from the public health office after they tested positive.

You can find more information about the data collection and management at Information about personal data processing in eRouška 2.0.

Will eRouška data be copied after I perform phone recovery or if I get a new phone?

To protect your privacy, neither Android nor iOS back up data from Exposure Notifications. If you reinstall your phone's system or get a new phone, the stored identifiers will not be recovered.

What if my phone is stolen or I lose it?

Only anonymous information about other devices detected by eRouška is stored in the app. This does not bring any risk to you or the owners of other devices. Other applications that you commonly use may store much more sensitive data on your phone. Keep your phone protected with a passcode or biometrics (fingerprint or face).

Is the eRouška application compliant with GDPR?

The entire system of the application eRouška including the website is designed in full compliance with GDPR and the Personal Data Processing Act.

You will find more detailed information here:

How do you protect users from data abuse?

We protect users primarily by minimizing the range of logged data and storing them directly in the device. User data is not sent or processed anywhere without their knowledge and consent. The app stores only anonymous identifiers (IDs) of other eRouška users and information about the time, length and Bluetooth strength. Data is automatically processed on the server only after they are sent by the user.

Does an independent organization oversee the security of application data?

The whole system of eRouška application including the supporting website is developed in full compliance with GDPR. The application's code is open-sourced (Android, iOS) and underwent an audit by independent education institutions.

You can find more information in Information about personal data processing in eRouška 2.0.

Can someone track my location using eRouška?

No. The application does not collect information about your location and only you have access to the saved data. The data that the app sends after your consent cannot be used to track your location. Moreover, for safety and privacy reasons, eRouška changes its ID regularly to prevent it from being abused.

The application only saves data such as: on 31/03/2020 at 12:15 an application with identifier ID 29091 with signal strength −56 dBm was recorded.

Can I verify that the app is not recording my location?

Yes. eRouška application is published as open-sourced code (Android, iOS), so an informed person can easily verify that the application indeed does not collect location data.

The eRouška source code is reviewed by independent authorities who confirm that the application:

  • does not track location;
  • does not automatically send data anywhere.

Can a user's application identifier (ID) be paired with a specific person?

Application eRouška 2.0 does not work with personal data. Generated anonymous eRouška identifiers are sent between the applications and the server via an encrypted communication protocol developed by Apple and Google. Neither users, nor developers or other authorities can access the identifiers.

Who has (could have) access to my data?

Neither the user not any other person can access logged data about encounters in eRouška 2.0. The reason for this is that this app version uses Apple/Google protocol which does not allow access to logged data to users, developers or other individuals. Data (anonymous identifiers of infected individuals) are sent to the server and other users' devices encrypted and are evaluated on the devices automatically if a notification about a risky encounter is needed to be displayed. They are deleted from the devices and the server automatically after 14 days.

How old data is available? When and how is it deleted?

eRouška saves the data for 14 days. Older entries are automatically deleted. If you consent to personal data processing after you talk to a public health officer, and send identifiers from your phone to the server, the data will stay there for 14 days and then they are deleted. You can delete data from your phone in Exposure Notification settings. The specific steps differ among devices and OS. On Android devices, uninstalling the app is enough to delete stored identifiers. on iPhones, stored identifiers are not deleted during uninstallation. You can find more information about data managers and processors in Information about personal data processing in eRouška.

Can I change my mind about using the app at any time? Can I delete the data that I send out to be processed?

You can uninstall the application any time you want. You can delete stored identifiers from your phone in Exposure Notification settings. The specific steps differ among devices and OS. On Android devices, uninstalling the app is enough to delete stored identifiers. On iPhones, stored identifiers are not deleted during uninstallation. Data which were sent to the server are automatically deleted after 14 days.

In eRouška 1.x, you can delete the phone number (cancel registration) that you entered during app activation. Your old identifiers (ID) will stay in eRouška apps of users that you have encountered for 30 days. These identifiers cannot be linked to any mobile device, phone number or person.

What happens to the data after I delete the app from my smartphone?

When you delete the application from your Android phone, the identifiers stored in it will also be deleted. On iPhones, stored identifiers are not deleted during uninstallation and they will stay in the operating system for the next 14 days. You can delete stored identifiers from your phone in Exposure Notification settings. The specific steps differ among devices and OS. If you reinstall the app, it will start collecting and storing brand new data on your phone.

Where can I find the application's source code?

The eRouška application is published with an open-source code (Android, iOS).

Frequent problems

If the app displays an error message, please check whether your OS is updated and you are not using a beta version. Then, please check for updates in Google Play (Android) or App Store (iOS).

Cannot activate eRouška. / Android: Activation error 17 (Exposure Notification API is not available) / iOS: Error code: 3

On Android devices, please follow these steps:

  1. Check if you are the primary user of the device, if Play Services is installed, and if Settings → Google → COVID-19 Exposure Notifications is available.
  2. Uninstall eRouška.
  3. Clear cache and data for Google Play Services and Play Store (see steps 2 and 3).
  4. Install eRouška and enable COVID-19 Exposure Notifications.

On iPhone devices, please follow these steps:

  1. Check for iOS updates. Check that you are not a beta tester.
  2. Uninstall eRouška.
  3. If Settings → Exposure Notifications (or Exposure Logging Status) is disabled, please press the toggle to enable it.
  4. Install eRouška and enable Exposure Notifications.

If you still experience issues with app activation, it is possible that your device does not support Bluetooth LE (Low Energy Advertising) or Bluetooth Multiple Advertisement, is not authorized for Exposure Notifications by Google, or does not have Exposure Notifications API.

eRouška was paused on iPhone and cannot be resumed.

Only some iPhone users are affected by this after iOS update. Please try uninstall and reinstall eRouška. You will not lose any data from your iPhone because they are stored in the system.

What should I do if eRouška stops working after I recovered iPhone data from iCloud or got a new iPhone?

iOS 14.0 and 14.1 contain an error that disables the necessary Exposure Notifications settings after the phone data are recovered.

Please try one of the following steps:

  1. Go to Settings → Exposure Notifications → turn off Exposure Notifications. Open eRouška and confirm the required permissions.
  2. Uninstall eRouška, reinstall and activate it.
  3. Set our region as active: go to Settings → Exposure Notifications → No active region → Select our region from authorized regions → press Set as active region. Resume eRouška.

iPhone shows a notification that the exposure notifications location has changed.

Please turn off the toggle in Settings → Exposure Notifications → Availability Alerts.

I received an exposure notification, but eRouška shows that it has not logged any risky encounter near me.

If the notification with red virus icon and text Exposure notification (Android) or Exposure log (iOS) surprised you, no need to worry. It is only a system notification on Android and iOS which eRouška cannot influence. View this picture which shows what eRouška notification looks like.

You can find out whether you encountered an infected individual on the main page of eRouška by clicking on three dots in the upper right corner and Risky encounter.

If you saw a risky encounter in eRouška which then disappeared, it is possible that the evaluation parameters have changed in the Android app update so eRouška does not consider that encounter to be risky anymore.