German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has announced that the nation’s digital contact tracing and vaccine passport app, Corona-Warn-App (CWA), will start assigning different colors to citizens based on whether they received a COVID-19 vaccine within the last three months.
The CWA will assign one color to citizens who add proof that they received a vaccine within the last three months and a different color to citizens who add proof of vaccination that’s more than three months old. Only those with the color showing that they’re “freshly vaccinated” (have received a vaccine within the last three months) will be exempt from Germany’s mask requirement in public indoor spaces.
Other citizens, including those who received multiple vaccines but had their last vaccine more than three months ago, will have to show proof of recent recovery from COVID or a current negative test to get an exemption from this mask requirement.
Germany’s Berliner Zeitung noted that the colors codes in the vaccine passport app would “give different rights in the future” and said the system would put citizens who are already quadruple vaccinated on the same legal footing as those who are unvaccinated.
Berliner Zeitung also reported that this new German vaccine passport system would be similar to China’s color code vaccine passport system. China’s system assigns a green, yellow, or red code to citizens. Those with a green code are allowed to move freely, those with a yellow code may be asked to stay home for seven days, and those with a red code have to quarantine for two weeks.
Despite moving to this color code vaccine passport system, Lauterbach has admitted that the goalposts could shift at any time and that if too many freshly vaccinated people make use of the mask exception, Germany will change the rules and close the exception.
Lauterbach, who is quadruple vaccinated, announced this new color code vaccine passport system four days after he contracted COVID. The new vaccine passport system is being introduced as part of Germany’s “Infection Protection Act.”
Related: How vaccine passports are crushing freedom, privacy, and civil liberties
Health agencies defended the rollout of vaccine passports and other COVID surveillance measures by claiming that they would prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, in recent weeks, government health experts have admitted that COVID vaccines don’t prevent infection.
Despite this admission, Germany and other nations are continuing to push far-reaching, restrictive vaccine passport systems. Some countries are also combining vaccine passports with digital ID or rolling out more invasive COVID surveillance devices such as wristbands and ankle bracelets.