Covid Australia: QR code check-ins are SCRAPPED for retail in South Australia


The reason why Australians are still being told to check in despite Omicron being everywhere – as QR codes are SCRAPPED for retail in one state

  • South Australia scraps QR code check-in requirements for retails settings 
  • The technology is still mandatory in hospitality, aged and healthcare facilities
  • NSW politicians fended off awkward questions about NSW QR code system 
  • Freely admit they’re only imposing QR codes to make people feel confident 


South Australia is scrapping QR code check-ins at retail venues – becoming the first state to partially ditch the technology which has become a staple of life during the Covid pandemic.

Premier Steven Marshall said the check-ins are no longer needed for general retail but will remain in place at high-risk settings such as hospitality venues as well as aged care and health facilities. 

NSW politicians meanwhile freely admit they are only still imposing QR code rules to make people feel confident as authorities have given up on contact tracing. 

Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello on Friday said QR codes helped residents with a low ‘risk appetite’ because the Service NSW app gives them case alerts and tells them to check for symptoms.

South Australia is scrapping QR code check-ins at retail venues, becoming the first state to partially ditch the technology which has become a staple of life during the Covid pandemic (file image of an Australian Covid check-in sign)

Premier Steven Marshall said QR check-ins are no longer needed for general retail but will remain in place at high-risk settings like hospitality venues as well as aged care and health facilities

Premier Steven Marshall said QR check-ins are no longer needed for general retail but will remain in place at high-risk settings like hospitality venues as well as aged care and health facilities

Premier Marshall said the end of QR code check-ins will be a welcome relief for many retail outlets.

‘I want to thank South Australians for their check-in efforts and I am heartened we are now in a position to safely phase out its use at retail outlets.’

The announcement also came with the return of elective surgery in SA and an increased 50 per cent capacity level in hospitality venues despite the state recording 1846 new Covid cases on Friday.

Meanwhile, the nation’s hardest-hit Covid state which added a further 13,333 infections in the past 24 hours, is sticking to its guns when it comes to QR code check-ins despite calls to do away with the technology.

Under NSW’s new contact rules announced at the end of last year, only household contacts of positive Covid cases are required to isolate.

That means being at the same place at the same time as someone who has the virus is no longer cause to self-isolate as it was in the early stages of the pandemic before the vaccine roll out.

The move has raised awkward questions for New South Wales politicians who freely admit it's only there to 'make people feel confident' as they've given up on contact tracing. Pictured: Shoppers in Sydney

The move has raised awkward questions for New South Wales politicians who freely admit it’s only there to ‘make people feel confident’ as they’ve given up on contact tracing. Pictured: Shoppers in Sydney

Premier Dominic Perrottet admitted: ‘We are not tracking and tracing that is very clear. But this is about confidence’.

‘The reality is people feel confident checking in,’ he explained.

The premier this week extended QR code check-ins, as well as density limits in hospitality venues and public indoor mask mandates, until February 28.

Mr Dominello was grilled on Friday by 2GB radio host Ben Fordham, who asked ‘what is the point’ of having QR requirements if the data is no longer being used?

The minister did his best to defend the policy which can see anyone who refuses to check in fined $1,000.

‘I understand where you are coming from and it was a line-ball decision, but there are people out there that are a bit scared and lacking confidence with Omicron around,’ he said.

The NSW Customer Service Minister (pictured) defended the state's the policy which can see anyone who refuses to check in fined $1000

The NSW Customer Service Minister (pictured) defended the state’s the policy which can see anyone who refuses to check in fined $1000

Under the NSW's new contact rules announced at the end of last year, only household contacts of positive Covid cases are required to isolate. Pictured: Sydney's Opera House Bar

Under the NSW’s new contact rules announced at the end of last year, only household contacts of positive Covid cases are required to isolate. Pictured: Sydney’s Opera House Bar

‘It does give you alerts and people that don’t have the same risk appetite as you or I can see I went to a place and it reminds them to check for symptoms.

‘Kids going back to school … we’re expecting a surge in numbers there. That’s another reason to be more cautious.’

NSW Health also has the power to declare a venue a ‘superspreader’ site and order those in attendance to isolate which the QR technology could potentially be used for.

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