3G, 2G or 2G-plus: Germany’s Covid warning app to show vaccination status

Germany's 'Corona-Warn-app' is being updated to show users their vaccination status proof under the 3G, 2G and 2G-plus rules.

A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf.
A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf under the new 2G-plus rules. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

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.

READ ALSO: What documents do you need to carry for Germany’s 2G-plus rules?

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. 


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. 

Member comments

    1. That’s mentioned in the article. Currently, the Corona Warn App shows boosted individuals as 2G not 2G+. According to the app’s FAQ, that should be corrected in a future update.
      Mine shows 2G although my booster certificate is present in the app.

  1. “The app is also able to combine vaccination or recovery certificates as well as a digital test certificate into the overall status.”
    Both myself and my wife have had two vaccinations and have recovered from the virus in the past 10 days. All of the certificates are in the App. but it only shows us as 2G status. Not as claimed 2G+.
    This is most annoying as at the restaurant they have to scan through our certificates which reveals personal information.

    1. I just got off the phone with thew Technical Hotline who advised that the App. does not show a combination as 2G+ currently as the rules in various states are different. RLP for example accepts Vaccinated twice and recovered within the past 3 months as 2G+ but this is not the case throughout Germany.

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Bavaria signals end to compulsory masks on public transport

Bavaria's state premier Markus Söder (CSU) has announced plans for a "prompt" end to mandatory masks on buses and trains.

Bavaria signals end to compulsory masks on public transport

If infection levels and hospitalisations remain low, the end of the mask-wearing rule could come as soon as December or January.

“We are convinced that the mask requirement in public transport could also be phased out either in mid-December or early next year, if the numbers remain reasonably stable and there are no new mutations,” Söder explained on Monday, following a meeting with the CSU executive committee. 

A decision on when to end the measure would be made “promptly”, he added.

The CSU politician had said last week that the sinking infection rates meant that compulsory masks were no longer appropriate and that the mandate could be changed to a recommendation. 

No set date for change

The latest version of Bavaria’s Infection Protection Act – which lays out an obligation to wear masks on public transport as one of the few remaining Covid rules – is currently due to expire on December 9th.

State ministers could decide whether to let obligatory masks on buses and trains lapse on this date as early as next week, or they could decide to initially extend the legislation and set an alternative date for ending the rule.

Regardless of their decision, FFP2 masks will continue to be mandatory on long-distance public transport until at least April next year, when the nationwide Infection Protection Act is due to expire.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid-19 rules from October

Speaking to Süddeutsche Zeitung on Monday after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, Florian Herrmann (CSU), head of the State Chancellery, confirmed that Covid-19 had been discussed in passing.

However, no decisions or discussions were made on how to proceed after the expiry of the regulation, he said.

According to Herrmann, the fact that Covid was no longer the “dominant topic” in the cabinet under “enormous tension” shows “that we are returning to normality” in a gradual transition from pandemic to endemic. 

As of Wednesday, the 7-day incidence of Covid infections per 100,000 people stood at 108 in Bavaria, down from 111 the previous day. However, experts have cast doubt on how meaningful the incidence is in light of the fact that fewer people are taking tests.

Nevertheless, the 133 hospital beds occupied by Covid patients in the Free State falls well below the 600 threshold for a ‘red alert’. With Omicron causing less severe courses of illness than previous variants, politicians have increasingly focussed on hospitalisation statistics to gauge the severity of the situation.

‘A risk-benefit trade-off’

Bavaria is the second federal state to announce plans to relax its mask-wearing rules in recent weeks.

On November 14th, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein announced that it would be ending obligatory FFP2 masks on public transport and urged other states to do the same. From January 2023, masks on public transport will only be recommended rather than mandated for passengers on local buses and trains. 

However, the Federal Ministry of Health has urged states not to loosen their rules too quickly.

Given that infection rates are likely to spike again in winter, “there’s no basis for loosening restrictions”, said Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD).

Physicians are also split on whether an end to masks on public transport is appropriate.

READ ALSO: Will Germany get rid of masks on public transport?

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) speaks at the German Hospital Day in Düsseldorf on November 14th. Lauterbach is against the lifting of the mask-wearing rule. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Roberto Pfeil

Christoph Spinner, a virologist at the University Hospital in Munich, told Süddeutsche Zeitung he believed it was time to put the decision on mask-wearing back into the hands of individuals.

“Why not? The incidences are low, the danger of Covid-19 has dropped significantly and mortality has also decreased,” he said. 

But the Bavarian General Practitioners’ Association spoke out against the move, arguing that – unlike a trip to a restaurant or cinema – people often have no choice but to travel on public transport.

“If the obligation to wear a mask in public transport is maintained, this will help to protect against a Covid infection on the way to work by bus or train – especially in view of the discontinuation of the obligation to isolate in the event of a Covid infection,” they explained.

Bavaria is one of four states to have recently ended mandatory isolation for people who test positive for Covid. Baden-Württemberg and Schleswig-Holstein both scrapped their isolation mandate last week, while Hesse removed its obligation on Tuesday. 

READ ALSO: Four German states call for end to mandatory Covid isolation