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Check in CBR app mandate dropped for licensed venues, night clubs

By Lucy Bladen
The Check In CBR app is no longer mandatory. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

The ACT will completely drop mandatory QR code scan-in requirements for all venues from the weekend.

The territory government's Check In CBR app was still required to be used at licensed venues, registered clubs, night clubs, strip clubs, brothels and non-ticketed events.

But while the mandatory requirement will be dropped a new health screening tool will be available which can be voluntarily used by high-risk facilities.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith has also revealed that the territory's public health emergency will be extended by 90 days. The declaration was due to expire on May 13. It can only be extended by a maximum of 90 days at any one time.

"The ACT continues to experience around 1000 COVID-19 cases a day. This level of community transmission still poses a risk to more vulnerable community members, including older Canberrans and people with some underlying health conditions," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

"We anticipate that the upcoming winter will bring additional challenges, as people spend more time indoors and the health care system deals with both COVID and influenza in the community.

"It is therefore vital that the ACT government has the ability to respond quickly should this be required over the coming months - for example, if a new variant presents additional risk."

The Check In CBR app will be dropped from May 13 at 11.59pm. It will coincide with other changes, including an end to COVID-19 vaccine mandates for teachers and health workers.

Ms Stephen-Smith said check-in requirements could be removed as contact tracing was no longer a key component of the territory's public health response to COVID-19.

"ACT businesses and the community really embraced Check In CBR as part of daily life and this contributed enormously to the ACT's contact tracing efforts," she said.

"However, the territory's COVID-19 response has evolved over recent months and contact tracing is no longer a key component. It is therefore appropriate that check-in requirements can now be removed."

Ms Stephen-Smith encouraged people to keep the app for use in high-risk settings, especially with the new screening tool.

She said the new screening tool would allow high risk settings, such as hospitals and aged care facilities, to have one tool to screen and automatically check in visitors. Such facilities have often had to use the Check In CBR app alongside a separate screening facility.

"The screening tool is consistent across facilities, easy to use and takes advantage of Canberrans' familiarity with the Check In CBR app," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

"This tool will be available for voluntary use by high-risk facilities that currently undertake health screening for staff, consumers and visitors, with data securely stored by ACT Health and deleted after 28 days, like other Check In CBR data."

The tool will be available from May 20 and organisations that wish to use the tool will need to apply for a new QR code that will automatically launch the new function.

Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in the ACT is free for anyone to access. However, we depend on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our newsletters for regular updates.

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