Businesses must display the Service NSW QR code of the COVID-Safe check-in app and provide paper check-in forms for patrons who don’t own smartphones as of 12 July 2021. Failing to comply with the new order may result in fines or temporary closure orders. The new mandate will apply to schools, supermarkets and shopping centres, takeaway food outlets, retail stores, gyms and offices and other venues.
Minister for Digital, Minister for Customer Service, the Hon Victor Dominello says the regulation will help NSW Health with real-time contact tracing. This has become increasingly urgent with the emergence of the fast-spreading Delta variant of COVID-19 which is responsible for the current Sydney cluster.
Service NSW has stated that the data captured by the check-in app is only used for contact tracing by NSW health, and is deleted after 28 days.
In May, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stated that 80 percent of the state’s adult population was using the Service NSW app to check in to venues. According to Service NSW, there are more than 5.2 million active users of the app.
The So What
With the number of users and venues about to greatly increase, Service NSW’s Covid-Safe app will be a key test of the government’s capacity to support digital tools being accessed at scale.