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China calls for global QR code travel system

China has urged the world to adopt a QR code-based system to monitor a travellers health in order to open up international travel.

While Australia uses QR codes for contract tracing at some public venues and work places, China has a system in place with users issued a traffic-light style health code to travel freely. A green code allows freedom of movement while an orange or red code indicates that they need to quarantine for up to two weeks.

Speaking at the G20 Summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hoped “more countries will join this mechanism”.

“We need to further harmonise policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” he said.

But human rights groups have warned that any mandatory health-based tracking system for global citizens could be used by authoritarian governments for other purposes.

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth tweeted that such a system could become “a Trojan Horse for broader political monitoring and exclusion”.