Welcome to the future, well, to the mid 1990’s when QR codes were invented and wouldn’t Masahiro Hara from Denso Wave be blown away by how his invention has changed the world in just a few months. Service NSW is now introducing venue check-in using QR codes to the Service NSW app.

When venues started to re-open across Australia it became clear they needed to keep a record of who came in, so that if there was a positive COVID-19 case among patrons anyone potentially infected could be reached via advanced contact tracing using those checkin lists.

The first paper and pen lists were good to get the pubs and clubs open, but how bad is your handwriting? Bad.

Enter the QR code.

Now my own mum’s pub was forced to make a decision on this front, keep paper records and type them out each day (to meet the Government’s 24-hour digitisation requirement) or close down because that’s just a massive hassle.

Instead, I jumped over to Google Forms, created a check-in registration form, and then found one of many free QR Code creators online, used the form link and hey presto we had a digital checkin available to patrons who simply needed to point their smartphone at the QR code now printed out and at the Bar.

I’ve since used this in a few places, including our local sports club for training and game-time checkins for the players.

But – it doesn’t remember your details – that’s one complaint.

Plus, people are right to also question where the data is being stored, and how it will be used by the establishment in question.

Enter the Service NSW app.

As long as you have a Service NSW account, and the Service NSW app – and why wouldn’t you if you live in NSW, if not just for the Digital Drivers Licence – you can use it to checkin to some venues.

Venues who have completed a Covid Safety plan and submitted it to the government can download a special Service NSW QR code, and display it for patrons to checkin.

Here’s the Walcha Road Hotel code page (blurred, so you can’t all just checkin for fun).

An example QR code for the Service NSW app for hospitality check-in

On my Service NSW app I simply choose the the COVID Safe Check-in option.

Inside the Service NSW app showing the COVID Safe Check-in option

This opens a camera window.

How the Service NSW app shows the Camera for code reading

Scan the code, and you are presented with your own details from the Service NSW database.

Personal Contact details displayed from within the Service NSW app before confirming Covid-Safe Check-in

Confirm these details, and you’re done!

Success screen, shown after someone checks in to an establishment.

A great initiative, turned around in excellent time by the Government.

So New South Wales residents, make sure you’ve got the Service NSW app installed and enjoy a night out at your local pub or restaurant soon!

And don’t forget;

Suesann Long and Garry Fairley, maintaining a safe social distance at the Walcha Road Hotel

Maintain your social distance.