New South Wales to SCRAP mandatory QR code check-ins by the end of January
- New South Wales to phase out QR code check-ins after Premier’s backflip
- QR code check-ins will be phased out by the end of January
- Mask mandates are also set to go by the end of next month
New South Wales is preparing to ditch mandatory QR code check-ins by the end of January.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole told Sunrise the government is preparing to ‘phase out’ mandatory sign ins at events, hospitality and retail venues as it moves to the ‘next phase’ of the pandemic.
QR code check-ins are set to be ditched again in New South Wales
He said NSW will ‘move away’ from mandatory QR code check-ins from January 27, when mask rules are also expected to ease.
‘QR codes have played an important part in this COVID pandemic, but I think we’re moving to the next phase,’ Mr Toole said.
‘What we’ve seen is the people of NSW have come forward, they’ve got double vaxxed, and that was the best way of protecting themselves and their community.’
The decision to move away from QR codes comes just a week after Premier Dominic Perrottet backflipped and confirmed that NSW would reintroduce mandatory QR check-ins at retail and hospitality venues just a week after relaxing the rules.
It was an astonishing backflip by Mr Perrottet given he has railed against mask mandates and preached personal responsibility, backed up by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The decision to ditch QR codes once again comes as the state government makes huge changes to close contact rules.
Positive cases regardless of vaccination status will be able to leave isolation seven days after their positive test, but will need to return a negative rapid antigen test on day six.
A close contact will only cover household or intimate contacts who spent more than four hours with a positive case, states and territories agreed at an emergency national cabinet meeting on Thursday.
Close contacts will only need a rapid antigen test and will be able to leave isolation after seven days if they return a negative rapid antigen test on day six.
Chief medical officer Paul Kelly said the four-hour threshold was a way of dealing with the increased caseload.
It comes as testing clinics across the eastern states struggle with extreme demand and massive queues, and result turnaround times blowout.
What are the new close contact rules?
New definition of close contact: Someone who has spent at least four hours in a household or a care facility with a positive case. Workplaces do not count.
New isolation period: Positive people and close contacts must isolate for seven days or 10 in SA
Timing: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT will implement the changes at midnight.
Tasmania will follow on January 1 while the Northern Territory and Western Australia will not adopt the scheme until they get more Covid cases in the weeks ahead.