NSW health minister Brad Hazard has announced a huge change to the sign-in system for businesses across the state.
As of January 1, every business must have a Service NSW QR code with those who fail to do so facing a hefty fine.
“I want to stress that you have a quieter period right now to get on to doing that and you need to do it,” Mr Hazard said on Monday.
“Quite apart from anything else, even if you don’t want 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.
“I stress – both from the sense of goodwill and fellowship to your community, get it done.”
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Up until now, businesses such as hospitality venues and salons, had been given the option of using their own QR codes, however, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it hasn’t always
given health officials the “best and most accurate information”.
“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,” Ms Berejiklian said during a press conference 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.”
She said businesses have been given plenty of time to get the government app which
takes about “three to four minutes” to download.
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“We did try to give it a go to give businesses the option (of their own code), but we found the inaccuracy or the lack of consistency compared to the Service NSW app is too much.”
Ms Berejiklian said they found people were becoming frustrated with business’ own QR codes where details were not being filled out properly.
“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.”
Last week, Mr Hazard let his frustrations be known about reports that some people were “caught” using fake names and made-up phone numbers when visiting venues.
“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. So that must cease.”
Businesses have until Friday, January 2021 to download the Service NSW app or face a $5,000 penalty.