Skip to main content

UK vaccine passport app produces broken QR codes on popular Android phones

What you need to know

  • A bug in the NHS app's Covid Pass results in cropped, unscannable QR codes being shown on some popular Android phones.
  • The bug could cause problems for some British travelers using the app to prove vaccination status.
  • Workarounds involve printing out a PDF version, or changing the phone's 'display size' setting to something besides the default level.

NHS app bug affecting phones like Samsung's Galaxy S21 could cause problems for Brits trying to prove their vaccination status.

As the UK relaxes its remaining Coronavirus restrictions, many travelers vaccinated in the country will be relying on the NHS app to show their Covid-19 status for international trips. However a bug in the Android version of the app, discovered by Android Central, could leave some Brits struggling to prove their vaccination status at the border, even if they've had both doses.

On some Android phones, the app crops out the rightmost part of the QR code it generates, making the code unreadable. Phones affected by the bug in the current version of the app — v1.48.7 — include some of the most popular current models like the Samsung Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy A72, OnePlus 8T, OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro. Other models tested by AC, including the Google Pixel 5, Pixel 4a 5G, ASUS Zenfone 8, Oppo Find X2 Pro and Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, were not affected by the glitch and showed the full QR code correctly.

The bug only affects Covid Pass QR codes generated for travel, as opposed to those used for the UK government's event trials.

Since the app is essentially just a wrapper for the NHS mobile site, the bug is also present in the Covid Pass section of that website on the affected devices we tested. That means users attempting to get a Covid Pass by logging in via their mobile browser on an affected phone would also see a cropped, unscannable QR code.

Left: Correct QR code on Google Pixel 5 / Right: Cropped, unreadable QR code on Galaxy S21 Ultra

Travelers could face headaches at the border if their code doesn't scan.

The Covid Pass feature of the NHS app is seen as the most convenient way for English residents to prove that they're fully vaccinated when traveling abroad. Currently France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Croatia recognize the NHS Covid Pass as proof of vaccination, and some of these have much stricter rules for unvaccinated arrivals. Without a reliable way to prove their Covid status, travelers could find themselves turned away at foreign borders, rejected at check-in by airlines, or subjected to lengthy quarantine on arrival.

While the NHS app can also generate a PDF version of the Covid Pass — which contains a working QR code even on devices affected by the bug — it's unclear whether this would be accepted if shown on-screen as opposed to in the form of a print-out, especially outside of the UK. The NHS can also mail out a printed version of the Covid Pass, however this can take up to five working days to arrive.

At a technical level, the bug appears to be a fairly basic UI glitch. It seems to be caused by incompatibility between the HTML layout used to show the QR code and the default "display size" setting (also called "screen zoom") on certain Samsung and OnePlus phones. Changing this setting to a larger or smaller value causes the QR code to display properly on the affected models we tested — with the obvious side-effect of making everything else on the phone appear larger or smaller, which is less than ideal.

Regardless, for the average traveler who suddenly finds themselves with a non-working QR code upon arrival at the airport, these kinds of workarounds will be far from obvious. And while this bug should be easy to fix, it also demonstrates the technical teething problems likely to continue as post-Covid travel opens up.

Android Central contacted the NHS Digital media team and was directed to the press office for the Department of Health and Social Care, which did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Source: androidcentral

Popular posts from this blog

Genshin Impact: When does Update 2.0 release in my region?

Best answer: Server maintenance for Genshin Impact Update 2.0 will begin at 6 a.m. China Standard Time on July 21 (6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT on July 20). Maintenance is expected to last around five hours and will occur simultaneously for everyone. Does Genshin Impact server maintenance vary by region? Regardless of what time the server maintenance occurs, it will happen simultaneously for everyone. Server maintenance generally lasts around 5 or 6 hours, but given that Update 2.0 is the biggest one yet, it could potentially take even longer. Update 2.0 will release worldwide on July 20 or 21 depending on your time zone. What does Genshin Impact Update 2.0 include? There's a whole lot of content coming with Genshin Impact Update 2.0 . One of the biggest additions is the Inazuma region, which will be the first major region to be added to the game since its launch. It consists of six major islands with ports, mountains, shrines, villages, and more. With Inazuma also comes a new A

How to watch Love Island 2021: Live stream the new series online

Are you ready for another summer of love? A new group of hopefuls is set to descend on the Balearic Island of Majorca for the UK's most talked-about TV dating show. Watch every match-making moment with our Love Island 2021 live stream guide below, and watch the show no matter where in the world you are. After a coronavirus-enforced break from the screens last year, the show returns with Laura Whitmore back to host the romantic action and comedian Iain Stirling once again providing his wise-crackingly sarcastic voiceovers. There's £50,000 up for grabs for the reality show's winner, but that's likely to be some way down the pecking order of what's on the mind of the twenty-something contestants taking part. Viewers in the UK have been given an early glimpse of this season's hopefuls who include a teacher who has never been on a date before and the show's first physically disabled contestant. The last series to be broadcast from Mallorca was won in 201

There are many ways to copy and paste things from your Chromebook

It should come as no surprise that as time has passed everyone by, the best Chromebooks have progressed and become true productivity machines. And while there are a lot of awesome Chromebook tips and tricks that you won't find elsewhere, you'll likely want to know how to do some of the more basic tasks. One such task performed a plethora of times per day is simply copying and pasting text or other items from one place to another. So here's how you can copy and paste on a Chromebook. How to copy and paste with the touchscreen Locate the text that you wish to copy and paste. Double-tap the screen on the text that you wish to copy. Drag the highlight handles to highlight all of the text you want to copy. From the pop-up menu, tap Copy . Navigate to the area where you wish to paste the text. Tap and hold in the space where you wish to paste. Tap Paste from the menu that appears. Using the touchscreen on your Chromebook can be a bit finicky from time

Unmaze for Android is a stunning adventure through a sinister labyrinth

In a world of light and shadow, guide your loved ones through the maze before monstrosity overtakes them. Your little brother and your boyfriend have been missing for two days. Search parties and authorities aren't turning up any leads, and there's been a string of unsolved missing person cases in your town recently. Looking for answers, you find a strange blue crystal and some ominous notes about a lost civilization in your brother's room. And when you look into the crystal, you can see and hear your boyfriend?! This fascinating horror mystery setup is how Unmaze kicks off, and the plot only thickens from there. You play as Ariadne, a young woman trying to help recover her boyfriend, Theseus, and her younger brother, Asterion, from a mystical maze that she can only see through the crystal she found in Asterion's room. This phenomenal, weird title is definitely going in with the best Android games . Mechanically speaking, the gameplay in Unmaze is very simple,