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Published: 14:56, February 17, 2022 | Updated: 15:22, February 17, 2022
Vaccine pass: HK residents urged to update 'LeaveHomeSafe' app
By Wang Zhan
Published:14:56, February 17, 2022 Updated:15:22, February 17, 2022 By Wang Zhan

People wearing face masks line up to scan the government's contact tracing QR code for the "LeaveHomeSafe" COVID-19 mobile app before entering a market in Hong Kong on Nov 2, 2021. (KIN CHEUNG / AP)

HONG KONG - Members of the public should get ready for the full implementation of the "vaccine pass" program on Feb 24 by updating their "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app and storing their vaccination records in the app for easy display, a government spokesman said Thursday.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer said members of the public should update their "LeaveHomeSafe" app to version 3.0.2 and use it to store their vaccination records or COVID-19 Vaccination Medical Exemption Certificates.

A vaccination record or exemption certificate can be easily stored in the app by scanning them with the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile app's storage function

“With the latest version of the ‘LeaveHomeSafe’ mobile app, members of the public can open the vaccination record without a password or biometric authentication, facilitating users' easy display and premises operators' verification of the electronic vaccination record,” the statement reads.

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A vaccination record or exemption certificate can be easily stored in the app by scanning them with the app's storage function. 

Members of the public can also retrieve the QR code of their electronic vaccination record through "iAM Smart" or "eHealth", and import the QR code that is stored in their mobile phone's photo album to "LeaveHomeSafe". 

Hong Kong on Wednesday saw a record 4,285 new COVID-19 cases while more than 7,000 persons tested preliminarily positive for the virus.

The implementation of the "vaccine pass" arrangement aims to raise Hong Kong’s vaccination rate, so that territory can go back to normal life as soon as possible. 

Under the "vaccine pass" arrangement, business establishments and certain public places are required to download or update their "QR Code Verification Scanner" mobile app and record the data kept in a visitor's paper vaccination record, electronic vaccination record or Exemption Certificate, thus keeping a real-name record of its visitors. 

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If a visitor later tests positive for COVID-19, such data could assist the Centre for Health Protection in tracing persons with a high risk of infection and cut the transmission chains in the community. 

The data temporarily saved in the "QR Code Verification Scanner" mobile app will only be stored for 31 days for anti-epidemic purposes, according to the statement. 

Personal data will be encrypted, masked and hashed into unidentifiable information. Even the staff at the business establishment cannot view the information stored in the "QR Code Verification Scanner" mobile app and the data will be deleted automatically after 31 days, it added.

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