Why there is no vaccination passport in China?

Did you know that in China there is no vaccination passport and that you can go anywhere, vaccinated or not? The Chinese also have a mobile app that works a bit like the Hong Kong mobile app but with a big difference on the vaccination passport side. In short, the app geolocates you and if you have been in a place where there has been suspected or proven cases of covid, the app will tell you. Your QR code will change color and will go from green to orange if you have just walked through a risk area. As a result, you will not be able to enter a restaurant or a supermarket. But if you immediately do a quick RAT (Rapid Antigenic Test) test and enter a negative result in your app, you can leave almost immediately. In some cases you are even allowed to self-diagnose and “unlock” your app so that your QR code turns green again. As convenient as this application may be, it does not prevent quarantines when moving from a high-risk region to a less risky one in order to avoid the virus circulating from one region to another. Last thing on this topic, if you want to enter China you must be vaccinated.

Since vaccines don’t prevent catching or spreading the virus, the Chinese government is focusing on managing the spread, and while the mobile app can show your vaccination status, at no point you’ll stay outside a restaurant if you’re not vaccinated (at least for now). In most of the other countries in the world, people are pushed to get vaccinated with borderline legal and scientific means, and then vaccinated people are left free to go anywhere while potentially sick and contagious. It is quite possible that the vaccinated people are the ones who spread the virus the most because they are allowed to go everywhere. In China they only restrict your movements if you are sick or potentially contagious. So there are two competing approaches and the Chinese one seems to be a bit more “rational” than the others.

In China, they manage it the Chinese way and they go very far in their logic of limiting the circulation of the virus. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, we have seen extreme and brutal measures with cities entirely locked down for months, buildings with padlocked doors where no one could leave for weeks and huge isolation camps with living conditions that no one would envy. We have also seen thousands of people taken by surprise and locked up for 24 or 48 hours in shopping malls or supermarkets while everyone tested negative simply because a potential case of contamination had been detected. But whatever one says, there is a Chinese logic that can be rationally explained, and the government does not make your life miserable if you do not get injected with a product that is known not to limit the spread or catching the virus.

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