Hong Kong has rolled out a new platform for people who have recovered from Covid-19 to apply to get an electronic record, which could be used to enter restaurants, shopping malls, supermarkets and other venues in lieu of vaccination proof.
The Hong Kong government announced on Tuesday that recovered Covid-19 patients could download a QR code from its Covid-19 Electronic Vaccination and Record System. The code will be valid for 180 days since the day of recovery, and will allow the holder to visit various premises where at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine is required for entry.
The new electronic record was rolled out less then two weeks before Hong Kong’s Vaccine Pass is due to enter its second phase on April 30. People will be required to have at least two doses of a Covid-19 jab to access a list of designated premises, including fitness centres, hair salons and amusement parks.
To obtain the code, recovered Covid-19 patients are required to provide their identification document, including the document type, its number and the date of issue. They also have to indicate the month of their infection or discharge.
Health authorities said people may also save the code to the government’s contact tracing LeaveHomeSafe app for convenience.
A transitional arrangement was put in place to allow recovered Covid-19 patients to continue using previously issued proof of infection or recovery until June 30. Currently, they can use hospital discharge documents, positive nucleic test records, quarantine orders issued by the Department of Health and other recovery proof issued by the government or the Hospital Authority. Photos of positive rapid test results are not accepted.
During Tuesday’s Covid-19 press briefing, Principal Medical and Health Officer of the Communicable Disease Branch of the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) Albert Au was asked why the system said some recovery records were not found.
Au said the system was synchronised with other databases and should contain records of people who successfully reported their infection to the authorities, as well as their vaccination status. Those who failed to obtain recovery records should email the Department of Health or call the hotline 2569 7777 for help, he said.
At the same press conference, CHP’s Controller Edwin Tsui said Covid-19 patients could receive a jab 28 days after their recovery at the earliest. Some citizens had expressed worries about receiving a Covid-19 jab, he said, after they experienced mild symptoms but did not get tested or consult a doctor. Tsui said those who were uncertain about their infection status should still get inoculated, adding it was safe for recovered patients to be vaccinated.
“The benefits brought to you by vaccination will be far more than the side effects or drawbacks you are worried about,” Tsui said.