Supermarkets across the nation will now enforce mandatory QR code check-ins as part of major changes aimed at tracking the highly infectious Delta strain of the virus.
NSW and Tasmania will impose the new rules across a range of businesses in coming days.
These businesses include all retail outlets and supermarkets, as well as shopping centres and individual shops within centres.
Gyms and various places of business such as offices, call centres, factories and warehouses will also require mandatory check-ins. So, too, universities and TAFEs, all schools – for teachers and visitors, but not students – and all hospitality venues, including those picking up takeaway orders and delivery drivers.
Many large retailers have already been using QR codes and sign-in sheets, but smaller businesses and shops closed during lockdown have been more relaxed with check-ins.
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the changes were necessary to manage the highly contagious Delta variant which ran through Victoria weeks ago.
“We’ve seen with COVID how fast it moves,” said Mr Dominello.
“(The Delta strain) moves at lightning pace, so we need to adjust our circumstances accordingly.
“There is no excuse not to check in everywhere you can.”
Victoria introduced these rules several weeks ago amid a statewide lockdown.
QR codes are also already mandatory across Queensland.
Several large retailers in NSW have already been on notice to start displaying QR codes as soon as possible, and the government has set a 12 July deadline.
“I’ve already spoken to the major retailers and supermarkets and expressed my clear indication that I expect them to put that system in place as a matter of urgency,” said Mr Dominello.
The Check In TAS app will become compulsory for anyone visiting outlet stores, shopping centres and major supermarkets in Tasmania from 5 July.
A smartphone is required to scan a QR code on arrival. For those who don’t have a smartphone, sign-in sheets must be supplied.
SA Premier Steven Marshall is also encouraging the use of QR codes throughout the state and is urging all citizens to get vaccinated and observe social distancing after five new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on Wednesday.
“We can see the consequences of getting this wrong. We don’t want a lockdown in South Australia,” he said.
The Australian Retail Association (ARA) welcomes the use of QR codes in NSW and Tasmania after successful implementation and uptake across other states and territories.
ARA chief Paul Zahra said it would only work with the support of authorities assisting shop owners and workers in enforcing the rules.
“QR codes are recognised as a valuable means of protecting retailers and their customers in the unfortunate instance of COVID outbreaks and many retailers have embraced these proactively, ahead of today’s mandate,” said Mr Zahra.
“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.
“Successful QR code compliance within a retail setting is a three-way responsibility. Government must enforce, businesses must play their part in encouraging use and customer compliance is paramount.”
Do you take issue with signing in everywhere you go? Should this have been introduced earlier in some states? Why not share your opinions in the comments section below?
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