New personalized QR codes in Shanghai help protect public space entry

Personalized QR codes - woman wearing mask
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The city has rolled out the quick response barcodes to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Shanghai has rolled out new personalized QR codes designed to help safeguard access to the city’s public spaces. The hope is to help reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus in commonly used public areas.

The quick response barcodes are used to access everything from some offices to public transit.

The personalized QR codes are displayed on an individual’s smartphone. Before entering various public spaces, an individual may be asked to display the code. Though the program is quite new, it was implemented quickly and is already in widespread use throughout the city. Some of the Lujiazui offices require visitors and employees to display their codes.

The city is making vast efforts to help stop COVID-19 from spreading. There are temperature checks throughout the city, masks required on public transportation, and when entering the city, health information registration is mandatory. Now, the new quick response code is being added to the mix.

The personalized QR codes are the result of a partnership between the government and tech giants.

A few weeks ago, the Chinese government reached out to technology giants from within the country, such as Alibaba and Tencent.

The barcode system is color coded. The colors are green, yellow and red, like a stoplight. Those with a green barcode are essentially free to travel throughout the city. Those with a yellow or red barcode are advised not to head out in public and are told to contact medical professionals. The barcode color is based on National and Municipal Public Administrations data.

The personalized QR codes can be generated as many times per day as a user requires. A new barcode is generated each time in order to ensure that its associated color and data remain up to date. The city of Shanghai intends to restrict public area access to anyone with a barcode color other than green. This means that they will no longer be able to Personalized QR codes - woman wearing maskaccess public parks, community compounds, office buildings, restaurants, banks, hospitals and other common areas so they won’t spread potential infection.

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