Over 30 million 'COVID safe' check-ins through the Service NSW app

Checking in via a QR code is not too much to ask during a pandemic, NSW Customer Service Minister says.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

New South Wales residents have been using a QR code scanner within the Service NSW app to check into businesses across the state to help health authorities with COVID-19 contact tracing.

The mandatory use of the Service NSW QR code was first announced last month, with Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello on Tuesday revealing there have been over 30 million check-ins since the feature went live.

"This pandemic is tough enough," he said in a Facebook post. "If people do not want to check in, they are not only putting public health at risk but also the economy at risk.

"We only have to look at London and New York to see what happens when public health spirals out of control."

Read more: NSW says QR codes are the most effective system for COVID-19 contact tracing

The minister said checking in via a QR code is not too much to ask during a pandemic.

"It only takes a matter of seconds and keeps people safe and the economy open," he added.

The QR code-based check in system is mandatory for hospitality businesses and hairdressers. If businesses do not use the Service NSW QR code check-in system, they face AU$5,000 fines, closure of the business for a week, and should the venue further fail to comply, potentially a month's closure.

As of late December, 50,000 businesses were on board and 2 million people have used the Service NSW QR code feature.

Dominello on Tuesday added his department had received over 1.7 million pieces of feedback on the feature, using a thumbs up emoji to indicate a positive response sitting at around 94%.

Last week, the Service NSW app suffered a two-hour outage, rendering citizens unable to check in to businesses and venues across the state through the app.

A spokesperson for the Department of Customer Service told ZDNet the outage was unexpected.

"This afternoon Service NSW App experienced an unexpected outage preventing some customers from checking in with the COVID Safe Check-in tool. The outage lasted for 2 hours and is now resolved," they said on Thursday.

As of Tuesday morning, NSW Health said there was five new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Monday night.

11 cases were also recorded in returned travellers, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in NSW since the beginning of the pandemic to 4,845


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