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COVID Passports are glitching but that’s OK, says Ministry of health

Fully vaccinated people who are found to be infected with the coronavirus will continue to keep a valid coronapas in CoronaCheck. The Ministry of Health is not going to solve this problem now that the Coronapass will be given a more important role on 25 September. Belgium announced on Thursday that it will fix the same defect in its own app.

“We have been extremely clear from the start that people who test positive must stay inside and not see anyone,” says a spokesperson of the Ministry of Health. This also applies to vaccinated people who have become infected.

But CoronaCheck, the app that allows people to show an entrance ticket, does not stop the vaccinated and infected pub visitor. The inspector sees a green check mark when scanning. The Cabinet has been aware of this since at least July, but accepts the risk.

The risk that a vaccinated person will become infected and spread the virus is not zero, stressed outgoing minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) last month. On Tuesday, he announced that entry tickets will be mandatory in many places as of 25 September.

A positive test result is stored under the responsibility of the GGDS, but in a system that is separate from CoronaCheck, explains a spokesperson of the GGD GHOR umbrella organisation.

“There is no general database of everything,” adds a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health. “We see nothing in structurally linking all systems to each other for the sake of utility and privacy.”

She points out that a ticket must be requested manually in CoronaCheck. Those who are tested after vaccination and are found to be infected have to carry out actions to withdraw the Coronapass.

“And you can’t withdraw paper vaccination certificates either,” the spokesperson adds. In Belgium, this is no obstacle to disable the back door in the CovidSafe app.

The hole in CoronaCheck is particularly dangerous for people who are not protected from corona. In practice, these will be people who are tested to go to the café, a festival or the cinema.

It is mainly unvaccinated individuals who infect other unvaccinated individuals. But vaccinees can also transmit the virus, although this is much less likely.

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