3G, 2G or 2G-plus: Germany’s Covid warning app to show vaccination status

Germany's 'Corona-Warn-app' is being updated to show users their vaccination status proof under the 3G, 2G and 2G-plus rules.

A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf.
A person getting their vaccination pass checked at a cafe in Düsseldorf under the new 2G-plus rules. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Henning Kaiser

The app previously showed the vaccination certificates of a user – but did not specify whether they fall into the 3G, 2G or 2G-plus (Germany’s Covid pass rules) category. 

This means that venue operators often had to scroll through people’s phones to find more details on the certificates if they were not choosing to scan them. People who don’t want to use a smartphone can also show the paper QR code given out by the doctor or pharmacy after vaccination. 

But the app is being updated to indicate whether someone is 3G, 3G-plus, 2G or 2G-plus – the so-called ‘proof of status’. It shows in the right hand corner of the certificate.

The app is also able to combine vaccination or recovery certificates as well as a digital test certificate into the overall status.

However, operators said the app cannot yet show the 2G-plus status of boosted people so users may have to manually show that they have ‘2G’ and then show evidence of their booster shot.

If certificates are scanned by operators, however, people who are boosted will show as having valid certificates. 

Version 2.16.1 was available in the Apple App Store for iPhones on Tuesday, and for Android smartphones, the following day, operators SAP and Deutsche Telekom said. 

What does this mean in practice?

Germany has various Covid entry restrictions into public places. To use public transport or go to a workplace people have to be fully vaccinated (geimpft), recovered from Covid (genesen) or have a recent Covid test (getestet) – these are the 3G rules.

To enter some public places there are 2G rules – so only vaccinated and recovered people can enter. Recently, 2G-plus rules – where vaccinated and recovered people need to be boosted or show a negative Covid test – were extended to include hospitality sector. Some states and private businesses also require 2G-plus for entry to leisure or cultural facilities. 

The test can generally be no older than 24 hours for a rapid test, or 48 hours for a PCR test. Requirements can vary among states so check local regulations.

As we mentioned above, the makers of the app pointed out that it is not yet up to date on one point: vaccinated or recovered people who have received a booster vaccination do not have to present a Covid test under 2G-plus rules.

“The CWA (Corona Warn app) does not yet take this regulation into account in the status display,” said the operators.

“This means that with an existing vaccination or recovery certificate and certificate of booster vaccination, it does not yet show the 2G-Plus status. The project team is already working to ensure that the CWA includes certificates of booster vaccinations accordingly in the future.”

People also have to show a form of photo ID, like their passport, on entry to make sure the details on the vaccination certificate match the ID.

READ ALSO: What documents do you need to carry for Germany’s 2G-plus rules?

However, as The Local has been reporting, some parts of Germany’s Covid rules are not clear. 

For instance, people who’ve had the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine and one shot are also not seen as being boosted and so generally fall under 2G, meaning they need a Covid test.

Although states have had differing rules on this, Germany’s vaccine authority – the Paul Ehrlich Institute – this week published guidance that said people who’ve had only a single shot of J&J are not fully vaccinated. So it is likely that states will follow this guidance. 

People travelling on Deutsche Bahn services, for instance, now have to show proof of at least two shots of a vaccine – J&J recipients need a second jab to be counted as fully vaccinated, or will have to present a negative Covid test.

There is also some confusion over people who haven’t had the classic ‘three shots’ if they have had a Covid infection at some point. People have reported being turned away from venues because they fall into this category. 


The Corona Warn app has been downloaded more than 40 million times in Germany since it was launched during the pandemic. It alerts users when they have come into contact with a person who has Covid. 

It was updated in 2021 so that people could upload their QR codes to show vaccination proof. 

People in Germany can also use the CovPass app to show vaccine certificates. 

Member comments

    1. That’s mentioned in the article. Currently, the Corona Warn App shows boosted individuals as 2G not 2G+. According to the app’s FAQ, that should be corrected in a future update.
      Mine shows 2G although my booster certificate is present in the app.

  1. “The app is also able to combine vaccination or recovery certificates as well as a digital test certificate into the overall status.”
    Both myself and my wife have had two vaccinations and have recovered from the virus in the past 10 days. All of the certificates are in the App. but it only shows us as 2G status. Not as claimed 2G+.
    This is most annoying as at the restaurant they have to scan through our certificates which reveals personal information.

    1. I just got off the phone with thew Technical Hotline who advised that the App. does not show a combination as 2G+ currently as the rules in various states are different. RLP for example accepts Vaccinated twice and recovered within the past 3 months as 2G+ but this is not the case throughout Germany.

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Germany’s top court approves Covid vaccine mandate for health workers

Germany's highest court ruled on Thursday that the mandatory Covid-19 vaccination rule for employees in health and care sectors is constitutional.

Germany's top court approves Covid vaccine mandate for health workers

From mid-March this year, health and care workers in Germany have had to prove they are vaccinated against Covid-19 or recently recovered. 

If they can’t provide this proof they face fines or even bans from working – however it is unclear how widely it has been enforced due to concerns over staff shortages. 

On Thursday the constitutional court rejected complaints against the partial vaccination mandate, saying the protection of vulnerable people outweighs any infringement of employees’ rights.

The law covers employees in hospitals as well as care homes, clinics, emergency services, doctors’ surgeries and facilities for people with disabilities. 

READ ALSO: What you need to know about Germany’s Covid vaccine mandate for health staff

The court acknowledged that the law meant employees who don’t want to be vaccinated would have to deal with professional consequences or change their job – or even profession. 

However, the obligation to be vaccinated against Covid as a health or care worker is constitutionally justified and proportionate, according to the judges.

They said that’s because compulsory vaccination in this case is about protecting elderly and sick people. These groups are at increased risk of becoming infected by Covid-19 and are more likely to become seriously ill or die.

The protection of vulnerable groups is of “paramount importance”, the resolution states.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach welcomed Thursday’s ruling and thanked health care facilities who have already implemented the vaccine mandate. He said: “The state is obliged to protect vulnerable groups”.

Course of the pandemic doesn’t change things

According to the ruling, the development of the pandemic in Germany is no reason to change course. 

The court based its decision on the assessment of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and medical societies, stating that it could still be assumed that a vaccination would protect against the Omicron variant.

It’s true that the protection of vaccines decreases over time, and most courses of disease are milder with the Omicron variant. Nevertheless, the institution-based vaccination obligation remains constitutional because, according to the experts, the higher risk for old and sick people has not fundamentally changed.

A vaccine mandate that would have affected more of the population in Germany was rejected by the Bundestag in a vote held in April

MPs had been allowed to vote with their conscience on the issue rather than having to vote along party lines.