All Victorian workplaces businesses and venue operators must now use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service (or use a third-party system that links back to the government’s interface) to meet their contact tracing obligations.
The change has been brought about by the Government’s belief that consistent use of the service will improve contact tracer’s ability to contain COVID-19 outbreaks as compared to the range of contact tracing systems that were being used previously. This is likely the case as, for example, a recent Victorian survey showed that less than half of Victorian’s are checking into hospitality venues.
As we all know by now, contact tracing is only effective where QR Codes are consistently used. The Government has therefore stated that “businesses should proactively encourage customers to check-in” and that “venues must make reasonable efforts” to facilitate checking-in. Businesses who fail to make use the system will be slapped with a $1,652 on the spot fine and there are enforcement checks being done across the state. For those that travel interstate, you may have noticed that Sydney has already had vigorous adoption of the QR Code. Their early enforcement actions of large public fines on venues firmly impressed upon business owners that it was their responsibility to ensure their customers scan in. Having a sign with a code on its own was not enough. It will be interesting to see if Victoria takes any lessons from this in how it seeks to enforce these requirements.
For more information on the change, see the Government’s information page here.