Venues urged to ‘lift their game’ in using NSW Service app

15 January, 2021 by Andy Young

Hospitality venues across New South Wales have been urged to ‘lift their game’ after NSW Government inspections found nearly one-third of business did not have the NSW Services app in place.

The use of the NSW Services app was mandated as compulsory for all hospitality venues and hairdressers at the end of 2020 following the Northern Beaches and Berala COVID-19 outbreaks. The use of the NSW QR code system has been compulsory since New Year’s Day.

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And while NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello acknowledged the great work that has been done with more than 100,000 business using the system and over 32 million customer registrations, he called for more to be done to ensure COVID-clusters are kept under control.

Speaking on Wednesday Minister Dominello said: “We have reached a number of important milestones in relation to contract tracing and the use of the Service NSW QR code feature.

“There have been more than three million people who have downloaded the Service NSW app, over 100,000 business have registered customers with the app and that is great news.

“In terms of compliance, so far this year there has been over 486 inspections undertaken. As of yesterday 71 per cent of mandated businesses that were inspected were using the Service NSW QR code system.

“There is room for improvement there. I want to thank the businesses that are part of the 71 per cent, and for the ones who are not, you have to lift your game.

“We are still in this pandemic: you have to lift your game. You have to protect your staff, you have to protect your customers and you have a broader obligation to the NSW community [to protect us all].”

AHA NSW Director of Liquor and Policing John Green told The Shout it is essential that all venues use the Service NSW app.

“Hotels have been at the forefront of safe check-in processes and many have been operating QR codes since we re-opened in May,” Green said.

“The Service NSW App has been refined in consultation with AHA NSW to address concerns regarding its usability by people without smartphones or people who do not wish to download the App, and now meets the needs.

“Effective contact tracing has been the best weapons to address outbreaks, so it essential all hospitality venues get on board and use the Service NSW App.”

The Minister also said that the NSW Government was prepared to act decisively to ensure businesses put the app in place.

He said: “In terms of infringement notices, as at 13 January, a total of 320 penalty notices have been issued, with two of these issued as of 11 January, and we have closed a total of four venues temporarily since the beginning of the pandemic.

“So we are prepared to close businesses down when they are flagrantly breaching public health orders and putting everyone at risk.”

The Minister said there are more than 200 Government inspectors authorised to carry out COVID-19 compliance inspections, he added: “If people that they can escape and not do the right thing, it is only a matter of time. You will get that fine, you will put your customers, your staff, the public at risk.

“We don’t want to shut businesses down, we want to do the opposite, we want to encourage businesses to stay open, but they must stay open in a COVID-safe way.”