Facilitation of health QR codes to improve as Spring Festival travel season approaches
Published: Jan 14, 2021 02:54 AM

A working staff checks the health code in a community in Minhang district of Shanghai on Friday. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

As the Spring Festival travel season approaches, Chinese authorities vowed in a notice on Tuesday to promote the recognition of one health QR code throughout the country, in order to improve the use of health QR codes.

"(We will) promote the use of one health QR code throughout the country, improve the efficiency of personnel traffic and avoid gatherings of people due to code scanning and inspection procedures,” read a notice released by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Tuesday.

Previously, many efforts have been made to further the use of one health QR code system within certain provinces.

On January 11th, a unified health code system was officially launched in Southwest China's Sichuan Province. People can apply for the health code with one code per person after real-name authentication. Those who have the green code can travel around the whole province freely, according to Xinhua News Agency.

In South China's Guangdong Province, the government has upgraded its health and epidemic prevention verification system. With this system, those who cannot show the health QR code, especially the elderly who do not have or do not use smart phones, can directly show their ID card for real-time verification of health and epidemic prevention status, according to Jiemian News.

In order to promote the mutual recognition of health codes in various regions, on February 29, 2020, the national government service platform launched the "Epidemic Prevention Health Information Code."

However, at present, some areas have not yet achieved recognition of one health code to travel across the country.

"I often travel to various provinces because of work. Every time I go to another province, I need to apply for a local health code, which takes a lot of extra time,” an engineer surnamed Li with Huawei Hangzhou Research Center told the Global Times.

"With one unified health code across the country, I will not need to stand at the entrance or exit at railway stations for nearly 10 minutes to fill in personal information in different systems over and over again,” Li said.

Mao Qunan, director of the Department of Planning, Development and Information Technology of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference that “the difficulty of mutual recognition of health codes is mainly due to differences in epidemic prevention and control situations and policies in various regions.”

China’s Spring Festival travel season will begin on January 28 and end on March 8, a period of 40 days. In China, Spring Festival travel season sees large passenger flows as people return home to reunite with family members.