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Coronavirus

Portuguese PM Backs Down From His Plan to Make the Government’s COVID-19 Tracing App Mandatory

October 20, 2020

LISBON, Portugal — Portugal’s prime minister is backing down from his plan to make the government’s COVID-19 tracing app mandatory.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in a television interview that the widely contested move, which was due to be voted on later this week in parliament, required further debate.

Portugal’s Stayaway COVID app has been downloaded 2.3 million times — just over one third of the government’s target.

Costa’s plan for compulsory use was widely criticized as unworkable. Among other complaints, police said the measure was unenforceable, and legal experts said it was unconstitutional.

Parliament is expected on Friday to make the wearing of face masks mandatory outdoors.

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