The app previously showed the vaccination certificates of a user – but did not specify whether they fall into the 3G, 2G or 2G-plus (Germany’s Covid pass rules) category.
This means that venue operators often had to scroll through people’s phones to find more details on the certificates if they were not choosing to scan them. People who don’t want to use a smartphone can also show the paper QR code given out by the doctor or pharmacy after vaccination.
But the app is being updated to indicate whether someone is 3G, 3G-plus, 2G or 2G-plus – the so-called ‘proof of status’. It shows in the right hand corner of the certificate.
The app is also able to combine vaccination or recovery certificates as well as a digital test certificate into the overall status.
However, operators said the app cannot yet show the 2G-plus status of boosted people so users may have to manually show that they have ‘2G’ and then show evidence of their booster shot.
If certificates are scanned by operators, however, people who are boosted will show as having valid certificates.
Version 2.16.1 was available in the Apple App Store for iPhones on Tuesday, and for Android smartphones, the following day, operators SAP and Deutsche Telekom said.
What does this mean in practice?
Germany has various Covid entry restrictions into public places. To use public transport or go to a workplace people have to be fully vaccinated (geimpft), recovered from Covid (genesen) or have a recent Covid test (getestet) – these are the 3G rules.
To enter some public places there are 2G rules – so only vaccinated and recovered people can enter. Recently, 2G-plus rules – where vaccinated and recovered people need to be boosted or show a negative Covid test – were extended to include hospitality sector. Some states and private businesses also require 2G-plus for entry to leisure or cultural facilities.
The test can generally be no older than 24 hours for a rapid test, or 48 hours for a PCR test. Requirements can vary among states so check local regulations.
As we mentioned above, the makers of the app pointed out that it is not yet up to date on one point: vaccinated or recovered people who have received a booster vaccination do not have to present a Covid test under 2G-plus rules.
“The CWA (Corona Warn app) does not yet take this regulation into account in the status display,” said the operators.
“This means that with an existing vaccination or recovery certificate and certificate of booster vaccination, it does not yet show the 2G-Plus status. The project team is already working to ensure that the CWA includes certificates of booster vaccinations accordingly in the future.”
People also have to show a form of photo ID, like their passport, on entry to make sure the details on the vaccination certificate match the ID.
However, as The Local has been reporting, some parts of Germany’s Covid rules are not clear.
For instance, people who’ve had the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine and one shot are also not seen as being boosted and so generally fall under 2G, meaning they need a Covid test.
Although states have had differing rules on this, Germany’s vaccine authority – the Paul Ehrlich Institute – this week published guidance that said people who’ve had only a single shot of J&J are not fully vaccinated. So it is likely that states will follow this guidance.
People travelling on Deutsche Bahn services, for instance, now have to show proof of at least two shots of a vaccine – J&J recipients need a second jab to be counted as fully vaccinated, or will have to present a negative Covid test.
There is also some confusion over people who haven’t had the classic ‘three shots’ if they have had a Covid infection at some point. People have reported being turned away from venues because they fall into this category.
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The Corona Warn app has been downloaded more than 40 million times in Germany since it was launched during the pandemic. It alerts users when they have come into contact with a person who has Covid.
It was updated in 2021 so that people could upload their QR codes to show vaccination proof.
People in Germany can also use the CovPass app to show vaccine certificates.