Venues in New South Wales will be required to use QR codes for contact tracing purposes from 23 November.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the news yesterday, confirming QR codes for hospitality businesses “will be compulsory”.

Previously, venues were able to use a code or physically record customer details.

“There is no reason why, within the next three weeks, that all businesses shouldn’t have QR codes,” said Premier Berejiklian.

It’s recommended venues use a QR code from Service NSW, however operators can also use a provider of choice.

“We’ve created a unique, free QR code for your business that customers can scan when they visit,” reads a statement on the NSW Government website. “Customers will need to have the Service NSW app installed on their mobile to record their visit.

“It makes the check in seamless by sending accurate customer information directly to Service NSW. This means the data does not have to be stored by the business and it is readily available for NSW Health to access if it becomes necessary.”

The new requirements come after a COVID-19 outbreak was linked to Jasmins1 restaurant in Liverpool, Sydney.

It’s reported customers with the virus visited the restaurant on 25 October.

Staff were told to isolate until 8 November, however an employee worked three shifts at the restaurant. It was confirmed on 3 November the staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

NSW Health said the restaurant “failed to provide records relating to staffing and patronage in a timely manner to support public health action”.

“Investigations have revealed Jasmins1 Liverpool did not have a COVID Safety Plan and did not keep contact details of patrons as required under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 5) 202”.

NSW Health ordered the restaurant to close on 3 November and said it will remain shut until the department deems it no longer poses a risk to public health.

“To re-open, the restaurant must demonstrate compliance with COVID-19 restrictions on gathering and movement, including the development of a COVID Safety Plan and measures to record contact details of patrons that are approved by NSW Health,” reads a statement from the department.

A maximum penalty of $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment for an individual or $55,000 for a corporation could be enforced if the order is not complied with.

Image credit: kochiesbusinessbuilders