Delta strain
The delta strain coronavirus, 3D illustration. Image – Canva.
  • Amid a growing Delta variant outbreak, NSW has made their check-in app mandatory
  • Strict lockdowns now continue in Sydney, as case numbers start to come under control
  • South Australia has been acknowledged as the best state in relation to its handling of Covid

NSW has made their Covid-safe check-in app mandatory, many months after it was obligatory in other states.

As the Perth and Peel region of WA, Darwin and Brisbane all came out of lockdown and moved to mask-wearing restrictions (since ended in Perth and Peel), Sydney is moving in the other direction thanks to their Delta variant outbreak.

Dozens of new cases are being recorded in Sydney every day, and for a city that had been a shining light on a hill in relation to its handling of Covid, the harbour city has now been plunged back into last place.

“The Service NSW app is easy to use, safe and fast. It only takes seconds to scan the QR code and for businesses to check the green tick.”

Minister for Digital, Victor Dominello, in a statement yesterday.

With more than 5.7 million active users of the app, the vast majority of the population has been using the app to check-in at workplaces and retail businesses across the state.

Check-ins will also be mandatory for maintenance workers, cleaners, delivery drivers and anyone picking up take-away food.

Victor Dominello
Victor Dominello. Image – LinkedIn

“This is a proportionate and critical step in bringing the pandemic under control and getting the community out of lockdown. We need to think of checking in as a reflex action when visiting venues,” Mr Dominello said.

“These measures will enable us to identify exposure sites with greater precision and speed and ensure contact tracers have instant access to reliable customer records to help keep the community safe.”

Businesses that fail to comply with the new Public Health Order requirements may be subject to fines and in case of repeated breaches, temporary closure orders.

Information collected by the app is deleted after 28 days, and is only used to track and trace outbreaks of the virus, and finding those people that need to isolate if they have been exposed to a live case.

For those without a digital device, businesses must provide a tablet or other device to assist customers complete the online check in form.

Implications for real estate industry

Under the current rules in Greater Sydney, house inspections are only allowed by private appointment, one person at a time.

Buyers and renters have to wear masks when attending home opens or auctions, and the numbers are restricted.

Home Opens – come under the one person (including children) per 4sqm rule; masks are mandatory; hand sanitiser must be available; records of attendees must be kept (e.g. through the safe app check-in or a list) and everyone should keep to social distancing.

Auctions – as per home opens, one person per 4sqm for in-person auctions and masks are mandatory; real estate agency to follow Covid-19 safety plan as per NSW Public Health Order.

No one from Greater Sydney can visit a home open or auction if outside that area. People living or working in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside, and Woollahra local government areas, are able to travel outside metropolitan Sydney for non-essential reasons

The Sydney lockdown has been estimated to have cost the economy $2 billion already.

South Australia ‘top of the class’

Meanwhile, South Australia has “handled the pandemic better than any other state on the employment front” according to Roy Morgan’s latest unemployment estimates.

It also noted, “South Australia has had fewer days in lockdown of any state and is the only mainland state not to experience a lockdown so far during 2021.”

Premier Steve Marshall was crowing about the acknowledgement.

“We’ve had fewer outbreaks than other mainland states and not one day of lockdown so far this year – but we remain vigilant to ensure we maintain this enviable lifestyle, which has seen us named Australia’s most liveable city, and third most liveable in the world,” said the Premier in a statement.

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