Google has announced on it’s blog that due to unprecedented worldwide emergency, Google Play is expediting reviews to enable official apps intended to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to publish on the Google Play Store. Only specific COVID-19 apps that meet the requirements below will be allowed on the Google Play Store. So what apps are subject to COVID-19 restrictions?

If one app provides medical, treatment, vaccine, testing or other related information, if supports COVID related response, containment, research or education/training efforts and if it provides social support, healthcare, loans and etc., than it falls under the restrictions.

So, to speed up the review process, one app should meet for example, the Privacy requirements. All COVID-19 apps must strictly comply with all Google Play policies. Also there is App visibility and user awareness. Apps that collect, poll, listen for or handle personal and sensitive user data must clearly disclose this functionality in their Play Store listing.

API requirements are also important. In accordance with Google Play’s Device and network abuse policy, the app may not access or use any API in violation of their terms.

One of the major requirements are the editorial and quality ones. “In accordance with Google Play policies pertaining to sensitive events, misrepresentation and deceptive behaviour, all apps offering COVID-19-related content must not contain or perpetuate conspiracy theories, misleading claims, ‘miracle cures’ or dangerous treatments or any patently false or unverifiable information pertaining to COVID-19 (including authorities co-ordinating COVID-19 response), regardless of app categorisation”.

We all know that there is no limit to conspiracy theories, just as the human imagination has no limit.

For the full list, you can check here.


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