COVID-19 Mandatory QR Check-In Code

28 JUL 2021

 

Use of the Service NSW QR check-in code has been expanded so that it is now mandatory at all workplaces and retail business. 

As an increased number of businesses must now display the Service NSW QR check-in code and take reasonable steps to ensure people entering their premises check-in, it is essential that businesses are aware of the requirements imposed on them.

What additional businesses have to display QR codes

The following businesses must display QR check-in codes:

  • Retail businesses and supermarkets. 
  • Individual shops within shopping centres.
  • Shopping centres will be required to display QR codes at entry points where practicable.
  • Gyms.
  • Offices, including call centres. 
  • Manufacturing and warehousing. 
  • Universities and TAFE.
  • Schools including teachers and visitors (such as parents and contractors) but excluding students. 

These businesses are in addition to businesses that were already required to display QR check-in codes prior to July 2021 (for example, hospitality venues).

If you are a business to which the mandate applies and do not already have a QR check-in code, you should visit the Service NSW website and apply for one immediately. The extensive list of premises where check-in is required can be found at https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/customer-record-keeping/mandatory-electronic-check-in#premises-where-check-in-is-required.

What this means for businesses 

The mandatory requirement imposed on most businesses to ensure that any person who enters their premises uses a QR code to check-in means that businesses need to turn their mind to the following in complying with the government orders:

  • Businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure people entering their premises check-in, which may include displaying QR check-in codes in prominent locations, reminding people to check-in when entering a premises and asking to see the ‘green tick’ on the Service NSW app.
  • In addition to the QR check-in code, businesses must also provide an alternative form of electronic check-in for people without smartphones (for example, a form of digital entry that can track customer check-ins, such as an electronic spreadsheet).
  • If a business receives a request from NSW Health, it must provide contact details in an electronic format within 4 hours of being asked.
  • If a person is unable to provide contact details, for example due to age or language barriers, another person may provide contact details on their behalf.
  • If a person refuses to check in at a premises, a business may refuse entry to that person, however businesses should ensure that they are familiar with the permitted exceptions (for example, someone under 18 years of age where it is not possible to register their contact details) and have spoken to the person and understand their circumstances.
  • Businesses that fail to comply may be subject to fines and in the case of flagrant breaches, temporary closure orders. Both appointed inspectors and NSW Police have been tasked with monitoring compliance.
  • Data captured by the check-in is only used for the purposes of contract tracing and is kept for a minimum period of 28 days. 

If you run a business and are looking for further information on your obligations with respect to mandatory QR code check-in, please visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe for further information.

If you would like advice or assistance in relation to regulatory compliance or any other Commercial matters, please contact our accredited business law specialists and Partners Justin Thornton on jthornton@marsdens.net.au and Rahul Lachman on rlachman@marsdens.net.au or otherwise by calling them on (02) 4626 5077. 

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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