NSW businesses and venues have been warned to switch their QR code sign-in system to align with the Service NSW app, or risk facing a hefty fine.
On 23 November, the NSW Government made digital sign-ins, for example through QR codes, mandatory.
Until now, the government has not specified what system or platform businesses must use, with venue owners free to choose a platform at their discretion.
But NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has announced that as of 1 January, every business in the state must have a Service NSW QR code or face a $5,000 fine.
Businesses experiencing a “quieter period” at the moment should “get on to doing that”, said Hazzard.
“Quite apart from anything else, even if you don’t want [to] do it out of goodwill, there’s a $5,000 fine attached if you don’t have those Service NSW QR codes by the 1st of January,” he said in a press conference on Monday.
“I stress – both from the sense of goodwill and fellowship to your community, get it done.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard announced the change following frustrating experiences for health officials dealing with different systems.
“The Service NSW app is more accurate because you only have to put in your details once and every time you go into a venue you just click on the code and you’re automatically checked in,” said Berejiklian on Monday.
“We found those venues that use the Service NSW app has made life so much easier for contact-tracers. This is to help our contact-tracers who are working 24/7.”
Businesses had been given the option to use their own code, but the “inaccuracy or lack of consistency” compared to the Service NSW app was “too much,” she continued.
“Or they make stuff up — but the Service NSW app is easier for us you only have to put your information once and we rely on that.”
‘As stupid as it gets’: Hazzard
Last week, Hazzard blasted some NSW residents caught signing into venues with fake names and phone numbers.
“What we are finding is that some of the visitors to various venues still think that it is funny to be caught putting in there that you're Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse or a false phone number. That must stop,” Hazzard said last Monday.
“This is a worldwide COVID pandemic. And thinking it's smart to call yourself Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse is about as stupid as it gets.”
Customers shouldn’t be let inside venues if they don’t have record-keeping systems, Berejiklian added at the time.
“You shouldn't be opening your doors as a business or an organisation unless you have your systems in place to get all of the information for people walking through that front door.”