NSW businesses have two weeks to prepare for mandatory QR codes

NSW businesses have two weeks to prepare for mandatory QR codes

If the current lockdown in Greater Sydney and a handful of nearby local government areas (LGAs) is lifted as planned on Friday, 9 July, businesses will have the weekend to make sure they're on top of new compulsory laws for QR code check-ins at a wider range of venues.

Use of the Service NSW QR code will be mandatory at all workplaces and retail businesses from 12 July, including supermarkets, retail stores, gyms and offices.

Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said expanding the mandate would give NSW Health contact tracers real-time access to QR code data from a greater number of venues.

"This is about keeping customers and staff safe and getting all businesses open again as soon as possible," Dominello said.

"We know the Delta variant of COVID-19 moves quickly and we must do everything we can to get it under control.

"While many retail businesses, including large supermarkets and hardware chains, have voluntarily adopted the Service NSW QR code, this measure will ensure check-in rates are high across the board and contact tracers have access to reliable records."

From 12 July, these businesses will need to display the Service NSW QR code and take reasonable steps to ensure people entering their premises check-in using the Service NSW QR codes or digital sign-in sheet:

  • Retail businesses and supermarkets
  • Individual shops within shopping centres
  • Shopping centres will also be asked to display QR codes at entry points where practicable
  • Gyms
  • Offices, including call centres
  • Manufacturing and warehousing
  • Universities and TAFE
  • Schools including teachers and visitors (such as parents and contractors) but excluding students.

Businesses such as hospitality and hairdressers that were already using the Service NSW QR code will also need to ensure staff and visitors such as maintenance workers and delivery drivers check-in, when they resume services after the lockdown period.

Hospitality businesses will now need to extend the use of the Service NSW COVID-Safe check-in to all customers including takeaway orders.

Businesses that fail to comply with the new health order requirements may be subject to fines and in case of flagrant breaches, temporary closure orders.

"There is no excuse not to check-in everywhere you can businesses and customers all have a part to play to keep NSW safe," Dominello said.

"In the same way customers routinely check into cafes, restaurants and bars, we need them to adopt the same approach when visiting a supermarket, retail store and workplace.

"Inspectors have been asked to monitor the situation alongside the NSW Police."

There are more than 5.2 million active users of the Service NSW app. The NSW Government emphasises the data captured by the check-in is only used for the purposes of contact tracing by NSW Health. It is deleted after 28 days.

The expansion of the app's scope mirrors developments in Queensland and Victoria where it is now mandatory across a greater range of venues. Mandatory check-in usage is also in place across a variety of settings in South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.

Updated at 12:59pm AEST on 30 June 2021.

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