Use of the Service NSW QR Code check-in service will be mandatory at all businesses from Monday 12 July, the government has announced.
The decision was made as Sydney’s COVID-19 cluster continues to grow unabated, with the QR codes set to give NSW Health contact tracers real-time access to useful data from a greater number of locations.
“This is about keeping customers and staff safe and getting all businesses open again as soon as possible,” said NSW minister for digital and customer service Victor Dominello.
“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.
“There is no excuse not to check-in everywhere you can.”
All businesses will now have to take ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure people who enter their premises, including those who are only visiting — such as takeaway orders at a café or restaurant — are using the QR system, and NSW health inspectors and police will be monitoring the situation.
Australian Retailers Association chief executive Paul Zahra welcomed the scheme’s expansion, but said the government should “have the back” of retail workers on enforcement, as the introduction of such schemes will usually lead to customer frustration.
“The key ongoing challenge for retailers in this area is around enforcement, which is a matter for the appropriate authorities and not something that can be taken on by retail staff themselves,” Zahra said.
“Unfortunately, customer aggression has been a big issue for retail staff throughout the pandemic and this issue is heightened whenever new measures are introduced. Public awareness and education around new measures is critical to minimise confusion or instances of customer abuse.
“A consistent and practical approach to enforcement across NSW, and around the country, is critical to safety and successful adoption.”
This article was first published by Inside Retail.