Support for business

Mandatory changes to Covid-19 check in for workplaces, retail and other businesses

New rules are in place from Monday 12 July. Check you meet the requirements.

Cafe with face mask

A broader range of businesses and venues must now use contactless digital check-in

From Monday 12 July, more businesses and workplaces will need to display the Service NSW QR code.

Customers, employees, and other visitors will need to use the Service NSW app to check-in.

Just as we currently check into cafes, restaurants and bars, everyone will need to adopt the same approach when visiting a supermarket, retail store and workplace.

Changes apply to

  • retail businesses and supermarkets
  • individual shops within shopping centres
  • gyms
  • offices, including call centres
  • manufacturing and warehousing facilities
  • universities and TAFE
  • schools including teachers and visitors such as parents and contractors but excluding students.

Shopping centres will also be asked to display QR codes at entry points where practicable.

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If your business or organisation already collects contact details using a NSW Government QR code or alternative digital sign- in sheet, it should continue to do so.

Checking in even for takeaway

Hospitality businesses will now need to check-in all customers who visit their premises, including those collecting takeaway orders.

Support for signing in

Reasonable steps must be taken at required locations to ensure people entering premises can provide their contact details.

For example, you should:

  • display your QR codes in prominent locations
  • remind people to check in when entering your premises
  • where possible, keep an eye out for new people who have entered your premises
  • ask to see the ‘green tick’ on the Service NSW app and check it relates to your premises.

If it’s not possible for a person to check in at your premises using their device, you must have an alternate sign-in method available. You have 12 hours to register those contact details with Service NSW.

You may refuse entry to anyone who refuses to check in.

Exercise judgement on what’s appropriate for your premises and for the well-being of your employees and customers.

If you intend to refuse entry, you should first ensure you’ are familiar with the exceptions and that you have spoken to the person and understand their circumstances.

Businesses and organisations that fail to comply with these new health order requirements may be subject to fines and in case of flagrant breaches, temporary closure orders.

New rules for hospitality venues and hairdressers

It has been mandatory since 1 January 2021 for hospitality venues and hairdressers to use the NSW Government QR code system for digital check-in of customers and clients.

From Monday 12 July, these businesses will need to ensure staff and visitors such as maintenance workers and delivery drivers also check-in.

This new mandatory check-in of all people on premises will apply when they resume services after the lockdown period.

Checking in at our facilities and venues

It will also be mandatory under the new public health orders to check in at City of Sydney facilities and venues.

This includes visitors and employees at:

  • community centres
  • libraries
  • customer service and neighbourhood service centres
  • depots
  • aquatic centres and indoor sports facilities
  • childcare centres
  • Town Hall House

Digital check-in makes contact tracing easier

Contact tracing is one of the most powerful tools to stop the spread of Covid-19 in our communities.

Digital check-ins make it easier for the NSW Government to contact customers at an affected location quickly if it becomes necessary.

They help businesses to remain Covid-safe by meeting requirements for the collection and storage of customer contact details.

The community is also asked to check out via the Service NSW app when they leave a location. This helps contact tracers in their work.

A range of businesses and events must use contactless digital check-in

The rules apply to a range of businesses and events. See the full NSW Government list.

Businesses and locations include:

  • nail salons, beauty salons, hairdressing salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, spas, tattoo parlours and massage parlours
  • hospitality venues, including casinos, food and drink premises, micro-breweries, small distilleries, pubs, small bars and registered clubs
  • entertainment facilities and function centres
  • public swimming pools, recreation facilities (indoor), recreation facilities (major)

Digital check-in is also required at events, including:

  • corporate events
  • funerals and memorial services and gathering after funerals and memorial services
  • wedding services and gatherings after wedding services.

For customers entering venues without a mobile phone, venues are asked to record their details and time of entry on another digital device like an iPad.

Service NSW QR code check in
Service NSW QR code check in

Using the Service NSW app and Covid Safe QR code

To help you with contactless customer record keeping, the NSW Government has created a unique, free QR code for each business that customers can scan when they visit.

To access your NSW Government QR code, check if you've already registered as Covid Safe.

It’s easy and secure for customers

Collecting customer information via QR codes to the Service NSW app is fast, accurate and secure.

Using the app also means customers don't need to repeatedly provide personal information at each check-in. It will populate the necessary information for them.

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 the NSW Government to access if it becomes necessary.

After check-in, customer contact details are stored securely by the NSW Government and destroyed after 28 days

This Covid Safe check-in tool is free and available to all NSW businesses and organisations as part of the Covid Safe registration pack.

This information is accurate as of 12 July 2021. Information may change. For up to date information visit The NSW Government website.

Published 24 November 2020, updated 29 February 2024