China's Hubei province announced today that it will issue health codes for residents who want to travel within the province, in the first stage of a gradual lifting of travel restrictions.
Travel bans and restrictions have been imposed across the province since January, with the capital Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, placed under total lockdown.
Now, the restrictions are slowly beginning to lift -- and the first stage will allow residents to apply for a government-issued QR health code through smartphone apps, which will then be verified by the provincial epidemic prevention database.
Residents will be given one of three color QR codes: green, yellow or red. The codes will be issued within 24 hours, but it is unclear how soon the residents may be able to travel.
- Green code holders from low and medium risk areas will be allowed to travel within the province.
- Green code holders in high-risk areas will be able to travel in accordance with regulations of the local prevention department.
- Yellow code holders will not be allowed to travel.
- Red code holders will need to be treated and quarantined.
QR codes are also currently used outside of Hubei to identify people’s health status and track where they have been to help monitor the spread of the virus.