Koronavilkku

FAQ

Why download Koronavilkku?

The Koronavilkku app can help us all contribute to preventing the spread of coronavirus. The app can be used to reach app users who have been potentially exposed to coronavirus and help them to act in accordance with the valid guidelines and to contact the healthcare provider where necessary.

Use of Koronavilkku is voluntary. The more people who download the act, the greater help it will be in breaking infection chains.

Who has produced Koronavilkku?

Koronavilkku has been produced by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and SoteDigi Oy were also involved in the producing the app. Solita Oy is responsible for the technical implementation of the app.

What phones can Koronavilkku be downloaded to?

The app utilises the Exposure Notifications interface created by Apple and Google to create identification codes and close contact information. The interface is available in all iPhones running on iOS 13.5 or higher and in Android phones running on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) or higher and Google Play services. The app can be downloaded to Apple iPhones from the App Store and to Android phones from the Google Play store.

Older phones do not necessarily have enough processor power or memory to reliably recognise close contacts. Besides this, phones made before 2016 often don’t have Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which is required to recognise close contacts. Starting to build in the required features to these phones yourself would be a long and expensive project, and it is likely that the resulting tracking would be unreliable.

Is the app free?

The app is free to download and use. If you come across an app that looks like Koronavilkku but requires payment to either download or use some feature, the app is a scam.

What language versions of the app are available?

The app is available in Finnish, Swedish, and English.

How does Koronavilkku ensure data security?

Koronavilkku does not store your name, date of birth or contact information. It cannot identify you or the people you come into contact with. The app does not collect information about where you are. The app works using regularly changing and randomly generated codes. Users of the app cannot be directly identified from these codes.

All communication between Koronavilkku and the server is encrypted. The information is stored anonymously on a server managed by the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) in Finland. The information is removed when no longer required. Legislation allowing information retention is currently in force until 31 March 2021. The National Cyber Security Centre has assessed the data security of the app and its back end system. The source code of the app is based on open access.

How does Koronavilkku determine potential exposure?

The app calculates the likelihood of exposure depends on three things: the length of having been near others, how close the contact with others lasted and an assessment of the contagiousness of the infected person. Contagiousness is calculated based on the date of the onset of symptoms. The healthcare provider stores information about the date of the onset of symptoms in conjunction with the unlock code indicating positive testing.

Likelihood is calculated based on a mathematical model, under which an alert of potential exposure is given in a situation corresponding to a proximity of around 2 metres for a period of around 15 minutes. The distances and periods of time, however, differ. For example, the further away, the greater the exposure time.

THL may adjust the sensitivity of the exposure criteria depending on the infection situation. Any challenges will come into force automatically in all apps.

I received an alert of potential exposure. What do I do?

If you have received an alert of potential infection, the app will give you instructions on what to do, including how to apply for testing. It is important that you monitor your condition over the following two weeks and ensure good hand, coughing and sneezing  hygiene. The app can also help you to make a symptom assessment or to contact a healthcare provider for more detailed instructions.

I’ve been diagnosed with coronavirus. How can I report it in the app?

If you are diagnosed with coronavirus, the healthcare provider will send you a single-use unlock code in a text message. THL will be displayed as the sender of the text message. The code will be valid for 4 hours from receipt of the text message. If you own more than one mobile phone, tap in the code to the one you carry around with you most often.

When you tap in the code to the app, Koronavilkku users will receive an alert of potential exposure. Potential exposure cannot be traced back you. Never give the unlock key to others or tap it into another device because this will mean that people you have been in close contact with do  not receive an alert of potential exposure.

Can minors use the app?

Also minors can use the app. However, we recommend that they discuss downloading and use of the app with their guardian.

Where can I get more information or help with using it?

The Koronavilkku.fi website has the most important information about the app and hpw to deploy it. The website also includes a video which describes in detail how to download and deploy the app. We recommend that in the first instance you turn to friends and family for help with downloading the app.

The national coronavirus hotline provides advice on deployment of the Koronavilkku app on 0295 535 535. The hot line is open 8-21 on weekdays and 9-15 on Saturdays. In addition to the telephone hotline, help is also available through chat and text messages. The chat window is in use at https://valtioneuvosto.fi/tietoa-koronaviruksesta/puhelinpalvelu-ja-chat, where customer service people will answer questions. You can send questions by text message to 050 902 0163. The text message service is intended for persons who, for example because of hearing impairment or some other reason, are unable to speak by phone.

As well as the telephone hotline, Finnish telecom operators DNA, Elisa and Telia can provide help to deploy the app. Ask for advice through your operator’s online contact channels, customer service and in stores.

Health services do not provide these services. If you have a question about coronavirus infection, please contact your healthcare provider.

How can stop using Koronavilkku?

Should you wish to stop using the app, you can remove it from your phone at any time and stop using it.

The app will not work if you turn off exposure alerts or the Bluetooth connection. It is recommended that you turn off exposure alerts only if strictly necessary. Remember to turn them back on again as soon as possible.

Does the Koronavilkku app work without internet connectivity, for example in flight mode?

As long as the Bluetooth setting is turned on, Koronavilkku tracks and registers close contacts even without internet connectivity. You can go to phone settings to check that Blue tooth is turned on also during flight mode. Phones require internet connectivity to receive alerts of potential exposure. If you are momentarily out of range of an internet connection or your phone is in flight mode, any alert of potential exposure will arrive once connectivity has been restored.

How can I change the app language?

Your phone’s language settings affect the language in which you see Koronavilkku. The Koronavilkku app uses the primary language set for your phone. In the newest updated version, you can change languages directly in Koronavilkku’s settings located on the lower right side of the app view.

On iPhones (iOS) you can also set the language of the app on your phone in Settings by selecting Koronavilkku – Primary Language. You can set the primary language of your telephone in the Settings section of your phone by selecting General – Primary language

On Android phones you can set the language choice in Settings – General – Language&Region.

The app is available in Finnish, Swedish, and English.

Can I download Koronavilkku with a foreign app store account?

Koronavilkku is available from all international app stores from 7.9.2020. The country-specific restrictions were lifted so that all users, regardless of the country of their app store, can utilize the app while staying in Finland. Please note, that there may be some delays on updating the stores, and therefore the app might not appear in international stores immediately.

At the time of publishing, downloading Koronavilkku was limited to EU- and EEA- countries, Switzerland and the UK.

Why does the Koronavilkku Android version ask me to provide my location if Koronavilkku does not collect location data?

Android uses Google’s policy of considering BLE as a location technology. This is why location permission must be given when using Koronavilkku even though Koronavilkku uses no kind of positioning.

Android phones might request location permission when you install Koronavilkku. This is because Bluetooth can in theory be used for positioning. The Koronavilkku app, however, does not use positioning. The policy has been changed in upcoming Android versions so that Android no longer requires this permission from coronavirus tracking apps.

Does Koronavilkku work outside of Finland?

In theory, Koronavilkku also works outside of Finland but the app works on the basis of other people in the vicinity using the same app. In other words, Koronavilkku is useful mostly in Finland.

Every state is responsible for the implementation of its own app since the app must communicate with background data systems and national healthcare system solutions.

Potential interoperability with other European apps has been taken into account when developing the Koronavilkku app.

I received a notification from Koronavilkku, but there is no alert in the application. What does this mean?

Depending on the model, phones send either weekly or monthly reports to remind you that the application is working normally. They also mention the number of alerts issued and the number of potential exposures. A potential exposure means that your phone has detected a phone owned by a person who has tested positive for coronavirus. Not all potential exposures cause an alert, this means that the encounter was short and did not meet the limit values specified by Koronavilkku.

Koronavilkku uses limit values determined by health care experts to calculate the probability of exposure. If you have received a notification from the operating system but Koronavilkku has not alerted you, the risk limit has not been exceeded and exposure is very unlikely.

The latest iOS and Android updates provide the opportunity for corona monitoring without an application. The phone identifies the country where the user is and, based on that location, allows use without an application if local health care has built the necessary background systems. If the country uses an official health care application, as is the case in Finland, the phone will guide you to download the application. Therefore, there is no reason to delete Koronavilkku because non-application monitoring is not used in Finland. Non-application monitoring is intended for countries and states where a corona application has not yet been implemented and which need the fastest possible way to enable monitoring. However, an application always makes monitoring more versatile and it is better able to take local conditions into consideration.

How can I be sure that Koronavilkku is working correctly?

You should check the following phone settings to ensure that Koronavilkku operates smoothly:

Check updating of the exposure log by pressing ‘No detected exposures’ on the Koronavilkku home screen. If the ‘Last checked’ date is more than 24 hours ago, try the following:

  • iPhone: Update the operating system to 13.7 and/or check in your phone’s settings under Exposure Notifications that the active area is the National Institute for Health and Welfare / Finland (rather than “Koronavilkku”).
  • Android phones (especially Huawei): go to phone settings and deactivate battery optimisation for the Koronavilkku application. There will be an update to fix this issue, but it may take some time.

Check the battery optimisation settings: In some phones (especially Oneplus), the phone may turn off the Bluetooth connection at night without warning. You can avoid this by deactivating the battery optimisation setting.

If Koronavilkku seems to be working incorrectly, restarting your phone often helps.

Can my employer compel me to use the Koronavilkku app?

The use of the application is voluntary, and each user can decide independently on downloading and using it. An employer can download the app to a telephone, but the user of the phone must accept the conditions of use and the voluntary use of the app to start using it. These actions must be taken by the users themselves.

Am I required to tell my employer if the app alerts me of a possible exposure to the coronavirus?

Nobody has the right to demand information on whether you have been alerted by Koronavilkku of a potential exposure. However, it is recommended that you inform your employer about the exposure alert so that possible further transmission can be prevented at the workplace by having you do remote work, or through other precautions at the workplace. Your employer may have instructions ready on how to act if Koronavilkku indicates that exposure has taken place. You may discuss the matter with your occupational health service, and the service may consult with infection experts, if needed.

How do I remove an exposure alert from the application's home view?

The exposure alert sent by Koronavilkku is automatically removed and does not need to be deleted separately. You can also receive new exposure notifications even if the application has already registered a previous potential exposure.

If you have already received an exposure alert, the new notification will appear in your phone’s notifications, as with the first exposure notification. The total number of notifications is not displayed in the application.

The exposure alert will be removed from the application’s home screen when the possible infectivity period has expired. Follow your condition until the exposure alert is removed and get tested if you have any symptoms.

Further development: What kind of problem has been identified in long-term encounters?

A problem has been identified in the operating system’s EN interface, which causes intermittent exposure lasting days or several hours not to get registered by Koronavilkku. The problem only applies to long, continuous exposure situations. Such encounters may take place at home, for example, among family members.

The problem is currently being repaired and a solution is expected soon. The problem is not significant, as people often remember long-term and continuous exposure situations. Koronavilkku enhances the interception of infection chains by also registering close contacts that the user does not know or remember.