Germany's Corona-Warn-App to let you check in at restaurants and events

Germany's Corona-Warn-App to let you check in at restaurants and events

Germany's Corona-Warn-App to let you check in at restaurants and events

Germany’s Corona-Warn-App is getting a long-awaited function that could revolutionise the way people use it: in future, you will be able to anonymously check in at restaurants or private events using a QR code. The change should help with contact tracing in the case of outbreaks.

Check-in feature should take pressure off German health authorities

Within the next few weeks, an update will allow users of the app to anonymously “check in”, by scanning a QR code with their mobile phone when entering restaurants or attending private events. If a guest at the event later tests positive for COVID-19, they can share their test result with the app. Other guests will then receive a warning. 

Other apps already offer comparable features, but there is one essential difference: tracing apps like Luca require you to input personal information such as your name and telephone number. In the event of an infection, the guests’ data is collected and transmitted to the responsible health department, who is then meant to take over the contact tracing. However, many offices are currently unable to keep on top of the number of cases coming in. 

The new version of the CWA, which will launch on April 16, takes a different approach. Users do not have to input any of their personal information, and information about their visit is saved only on their personal device. If an infection is reported, the warning is sent automatically via the app - thus leaving the health authorities completely out of the equation. 

The new QR code has also been designed in such a way that it can be used by both the CWA and the Luca apps, meaning that users can check into both apps by scanning the same QR code. 

New app function following example of UK

It is hoped that the change will encourage more people in Germany to download and use the app. When a similar check-in function was introduced in the UK in September last year, downloads of the government warning app “NHS COVID-19” skyrocketed. The British app now has a higher download rate than the German one. 

According to a study by Oxford University, this in turn helps to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Every additional percentage point of app users reduces the number of new infections by 0,8 percent to 2,3 percent. So far, Germany’s Corona-Warn-App has been downloaded around 26,5 million times. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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