Service NSW has announced that cards will be available for customers visiting essential retail shops, and a suite of other ‘improvements’ to its COVID-19 check-in app.
The card will contain a personalised QR code for citizens who register to participate and pre-populate web forms with all the usual details they would include when signing into COVID check-in sites.
People will be able to either download and print a Service NSW check-in card at home, or have a plastic card mailed to them.
Digital and customer service minister Victor Dominello said the cards, which can be scanned at the entrance of supermarkets, were another contactless alternative to check-ins that involved a self-service webform of paper sign-ins.
“The days of seeking out somewhere to manually sign in with pen and paper should be an absolute last resort,” Dominello said.
The minister also announced two changes to the check-in app following user feedback. From 13 August the app will make it easier for people to sign-in while wearing a mask, and give people the option of reviewing their check-out history and times.
Dominello explained that these upgrades to the app would allow NSW Health contact tracers to work with the most accurate information and act quickly notifying those who had visiting a COVID-19 exposure site.
“Customers will also be able to opt to extend their login-period for the Service NSW app to up to 4 hours, making it faster and easier to check-in without having to re enter a PIN or to remove their facemask to activate Face ID each time,” he said.
Another grim day for NSW with highest number of cases yet
Tuesday was the worst record day for NSW during the pandemic to date, with 365 new cases and three deaths (of people all aged over 70 years).
Watch: Dr Richard Totaro, Co-Director of the Intensive Care Service at Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital pic.twitter.com/dLVRAWlnCR
— NSW Health (@NSWHealth) August 10, 2021
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian told Tuesday’s COVID press conference that the deaths of older citizens who were unvaccinated would be a recurring theme of the state’s outbreak, and urged more people to come forward to vaccination.
“We know that New South Wales is going through these challenging times,” Berejiklian said.
“But we also know that vaccination is a key tool in reducing the spread and preventing hospitalisation.
“Those who have had two doses of vaccination have so far avoided any ICU, any mortality, but unfortunately, those that are unvaccinated of any age continue to be vulnerable.”
More deaths, hospitalisations and cases of long COVID are expected in NSW, the premier added, with case numbers being as high as they were.
“There is a high chance now that you could get the virus – please protect yourself, your family, your loved ones, [and] your community by getting vaccinated,” she said.
Visiting Sydney-sider tests positive in Byron Bay, health minister makes an example of rule-breakers
Responding to a question about why the rules in NSW were still lax enough to permit a COVID-infectious man in his 50s to travel to Byron Bay, health minister Brad Hazzard said he had been speaking with legal bureaucrats about what additional mandates or orders could be introduced to stop that kind of behaviour.
Other than for a sensible reason, such as a health worker who may work in Greater Sydney for some days of the week travelling to work in regional NSW, the minister said it was clear people should pick one place of residence and stay there.
“What does worry me, I have to say, no matter what legal orders or what legal requirements are in place, you just can’t legislate against stupidity, arrogance and entitlement. People will still try and do it,” Hazzard said.
“If people just applied the rules, if they complied with the rules and the law, and they applied an element of common sense and a modicum of decency to the rest of the community, we would be fine.”
The minister said NSW police were be considering whether to investigate the Sydney man who travelled to Byron.
Hazzard insisted that NSW had the ‘strictest orders’ to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Australia and that individual non-compliance was to blame for the persistently high positive numbers and ongoing community transmission in the state. He drew a comparison to the high level of individual compliance in Fairfield to ‘other communities’ with people from ‘other backgrounds’, and said a handful of citizens did not have any consideration for the impact of their actions on others.
“If people just stuck with what they were asked to do this Delta virus would be finding itself being beaten back into submission,” Hazzard said.
“I would say to [the people who do not comply], you really need to because otherwise, the forces of the law are coming after you.”