Coronavirus: Government releases COVID-19 'digital diary' app early

The Government has launched its COVID-19 "digital diary" app a day early and it is now available on the Google Play and Apple stores.

The app is designed to help Kiwis keep track of where they've been and assist with contact tracing if needed.

It was due to be officially released on Wednesday. A Ministry of Health spokesperson told Newshub as part of preparations for it to go live on Wednesday, it was submitted for processing on Tuesday evening.

"There can be a wide variation in times between submitting apps and them going live.

"In this instance the processing time was efficient, and it is now live in both stores for New Zealanders to download."

The spokesperson said Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield will be speaking to media about the app on on Wednesday.

"Any early adopters keen to start using the app can download it before the launch as the app is available now," the spokesperson said.

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the app will let people record where they've been and when, all while keeping the data to themselves.

"It is for you, it is on your device, and it is your data and your information," Ardern told reporters.

Coronavirus: Government releases COVID-19 'digital diary' app early
Photo credit: Ministry of Health

The app is not compulsory to join. Its description says the Ministry of Health has worked closely with the Privacy Commissioner and independent security experts to develop the app.

"Any information you decide to record with NZ COVID Tracer will be stored securely on your phone and deleted automatically after 31 days," the description says.

 "Any personal information you choose to share with contact tracers will be used only for public health purposes and never for enforcement."