COVID-19 check-ins & contact tracing


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Public health orders have been made under section 7 of the Public Health Act 2010 to manage public health risks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the recently reported use of fraudulent check-in apps, Marrickville Legal Centre solicitors set the record straight on what’s legally required from the community under current public health orders regarding COVID Safe Check-ins at venues in New South Wales.


Am I legally obliged to provide my contact information?

As of 16 August 2021, a person who enters most premises is required to provide their contact details by:

  • Using their phone to register their details with Service NSW; or
  • If they are not able to use their phone to register their details with Service NSW, having another person use their phone to register their details with Service NSW

If the person is not able to use their phone or have another person register their details or if it would be unsafe to use a phone on the premises, they are required to provide their details to the occupier of the premises.


Is a venue required to ensure that I provide my details?

The occupier of the premises such as a shopkeeper is also required to take reasonable steps to ensure that a person who enters their premises provides their contact details.


I am worried that my contact details will be used for marketing

The contact details provided are to be used or disclosed only for the purposes of contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Is it an offence to not comply with a public health order?

A person who fails to comply with the direction without reasonable excuse has committed an offence.


Is it a breach of the public health order to use a fake QR scanner?

Yes. A fake COVID check-in app does not pass any information to the government. By using a fake COVID check-in app, you have not registered your details with Service NSW. This means that you are in breach of the public health order.


What happens if I break the public health order?

The police could either issue you with an on-the-spot fine or charge you for breaching a public health order. The maximum penalties an individual may receive at court include a term of 6 months imprisonment and a fine of up to $11,000.


For more information on NSW Public Health Orders please visit the NSW Government website.

This factsheet is not legal advice. The legal information contained on this page is current as at 16 August 2021.