Service NSW app to add venue check-in feature for contact tracing

By Shannon Jenkins

Thursday August 6, 2020

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The Service NSW app is being revamped with a new feature that will allow contact tracers to access customer details from hospitality venues across the state, according to customer service minister Victor Dominello.

Registered COVID Safe business would receive a unique QR code. Customers would then scan the code using the Service NSW app, automatically capturing the date, time and location. The information would be stored on a Service NSW database for 28 days for the purpose of tracing in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The new feature would also be used for customer and staff check-ins in more than 100 Service NSW centres across the state.

Dominello said the technology would be trialled in Dubbo at venues owned by fashion house-turned hospitality company Merivale starting this week.

“Digital record keeping is a no brainer — it’s safer, saves time and helps officials for contact tracing purposes,” he said.

“We want to help businesses and customers to make the check-in experience as seamless and consistent as possible.

“The purpose of the trial in Dubbo is to test and refine the technology in a live environment to ensure it delivers the best experience for customers and businesses while also aiding the vital work of our NSW Health contact tracing team. I thank Merivale and all the local businesses in Dubbo for their involvement in the trial.”

The trial will inform a state-wide rollout of the technology.

Earlier this week the NSW government used the federal government’s COVID-19 tracing app to identify 544 contacts, two of which tested positive for the virus. Up until then, it has been unclear whether the app has been useful to health officials in their contact tracing efforts, and has been repeatedly criticised for its technological flaws.


Read more: Opinion: COVIDFail. The IT debacle that could cost lives


Roughly 1.7 million people currently have the Service NSW app on their mobile phone, Dominello said. The app is currently used to host digital licences, including drivers’ and boat drivers’ licences, RSA/RCG competency cards, recreational fishing fees, and Working With Children Check clearances.

The state government recently invested $1.6 billion into digital infrastructure and cyber security capability as part of its plan to embark on a whole-of-government digital transformation.

 

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