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Checking in with QR Codes

Checking in at venues and facilities helps with contact tracing and keeps Victoria safe and open.

Changes to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria

The Victorian Government has announced the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions from 11:59pm Thursday 17 June.

For a detailed overview of the changes, see the Table of Restrictions (PDF) at the bottom of the Statement from the Acting Premier

How to check-in

  1. Open your camera app, then hold your phone over the QR code.
  2. Tap the link that pops up.
  3. Enter your details and tap 'Check-in to this location'.

Download the Service Victoria app below:

Why do I need to check-in?

When you check-in, you create a record of the time and date you visited a venue.

This means that if there is a COVID-19 outbreak, contact tracers can quickly access your contact information and get in touch with you, if you’ve visited a public exposure site. This will help to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.

Do I need to check out? How long is my visit recorded for?

Once you use the Service Victoria app to check-in to a location, you do not need to check-out. You must check-in each time you visit a venue, regardless of how long you are there. For example, if you visit a supermarket in the morning, you must check-in, if you visit the same supermarket again in the afternoon, you must check-in.

How will contact tracers know how long I visited a venue for?  

When you check-in via the Service Victoria app, your name and contact details are recorded. If the location you visited becomes a COVID-19 exposure site, the Victorian Department of Health contract tracing teams will speak with you directly about the timings of your visit.

Contact tracers may also use other information such as shopping receipts or bank transaction records to help determine where you have been and how long you were there for.  

How many times do I need to check-in to my office each day?  

You only need to check-in to your office once a day when you first arrive. If your office becomes a COVID-19 exposure site, the Victorian Department of Health contact tracing team will speak with you directly about the specific timings of your day in the office.

Where do I need to check-in?

All workplaces must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service for record keeping. For instructions on how to register for the service, please go to Register to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service. 

The limited exemptions in place are:

  • schools, outside school hours care services, and early childhood services, in respect of all students,teachers and school staff (but not visitors, contractors or other workers). Other educational facilities must use check-in.
  • hospitals and care facilities in respect of admitted or residential patients and ambulance workers
  • farms for work-related farm visits (hospitality located on farms such as wineries and tours must use the Service Victoria app)
  • premises where pre-ordered goods are being delivered via contactless delivery
  • ‘click and collect’ services
  • drive-through takeaway services(but the Service Victoria app must be used for takeaway food venues and food trucks)
  • when using contactless payment methods at a petrol bowser (but the Service Victoria app must be used upon entering the service station retail facility)
  • any work undertaken at a residential home
  • essential support groups and health services where confidentiality is typically required (e.g. alcohol and drugs or family violence)
  • common property areas of residential apartments. However shared facilities such as gyms, pools and cinemas must use check-in.
  • Guests utilising shared spaces such as a lobby who are staying overnight at accommodation facilities like hotels, B&Bs and hostels.

Commercial passenger vehicles can comply by making available and clearly visible at all times, a sign in the vehicle that allows people to check-in using the Service Vic app.

Businesses and venues must make reasonable efforts to assist workers and visitors to check in using the Victorian Government QR Code Service. This includes assisting visitors without a phone or unable to check in to record their details electronically by using the Kiosk check-in function.

Workplaces must make reasonable efforts to provide an iPad or other device for people who do not have access to a device, , to allow people to check-in using the Service Vic app.

Where a person can’t check-in using the Service Vic app, the workplace may check-in on their behalf.

Workplaces must in exceptional circumstances where the use of the Service Vic app is not practicable or there is an access issue, use an alternative record keeping approach (including pen and paper) as a last resort back-up. 

Find out more about record keeping at Record keeping for Contact Tracing - Information for Business.

Why do I need to check in at work?

All workplaces will be required to use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service, subject to limited exceptions.

This is to ensure that in the case of a positive case visiting the workplace, contact tracers can simply and rapidly access the details of everyone who was there at the same time and let them know they have been exposed to a positive case and what actions they need to take.

What if I’m only dropping off or picking up from a venue?

Current Chief Health Office directions require that anyone attending a workplace must check in, regardless of how long you spend at the venue.

This applies to everyone, whether you are an employee, customer or other visitor attending the venue.  

For example, this means that delivery drivers doing pick-ups from venues (restaurants and warehouses) must check-in, or a customer entering a workplace to make a purchase

If in doubt, just check in. It’s quick, easy and free – and will help keep your loved ones and the community safe should a COVID-19 outbreak occur. 

What information is collected when I check-in?

The only details you are required to provide when using the Victorian Government QR Code Service are your name and phone number. The QR Code Service will automatically record the date, time and location of your visit.

You are also able to check in people who are unable to check themselves in (for example, your children or family members) using 'Add Another' on the Service Victoria app.  Make sure it's okay with them first.

How is my information used?

Your check-in details are only used or shared for contact tracing purposes if there is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case at a venue you have visited.

Your personal information can only be used by health authorities to help manage an outbreak of COVID-19.

If there’s no outbreak at a venue you’ve been to, your check-in details will be deleted after 28 days. If your details have been provided to the Department of Health to help manage an outbreak, they can be held for more than 28 days if that information is needed for contact tracing purposes. Your details won’t be used for marketing or any other purposes.

Read more about how your privacy is protected when you check-in online.

Do I need to download anything to check-in?

Most people won’t need to download anything, you just use your smartphone camera.

If your phone doesn’t start the check-in process automatically, you must download the Service Victoria app.

If you can’t use or don’t have a smartphone, the venue must provide an alternative way to check-in such as Kiosk check-in or using pen and paper if electronic record-keeping is temporarily unavailable.

What is a QR code?

A QR code is a link that your smartphone camera can recognise.

In this case, it will activate the check-in for the venue you are visiting.

My phone won’t scan. How do I check-in?

If your phone doesn’t start check-in automatically, download and check-in with the  Service Victoria app. 

There may be times when you cannot check-in for a variety of reasons, including not having a smartphone, or poor signal or low battery.

If you are at a venue that requires QR code check-in (for example, a café) but you cannot access the Services Victoria app, you can ask staff to help you check-in using the Kiosk check-in option.

This will make it easier for contact tracers to contact people quickly if an outbreak occurs.

What if I don’t want to check-in?

If you are attending a venue or facility where record keeping is a requirement, you must check in. 

This ensures that in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, contact tracers can quickly access your contact information and get in touch with you if you’ve visited a public exposure site. This will help to contain a COVID-19 outbreak and keep you, your loved ones and the community safe and will help keep Victoria open for business.

If you are unable to use a device to scan a QR code, you can ask staff to help you check-in using the Kiosk check-in option, or if check-in is not practicable or there are access issues, with an alternative record keeping method (such as pen and paper).

Businesses are required to ensure you check-in and can deny you entrance to their venue if you refuse to do so. 

What is Kiosk check-in?

If you are visiting a venue that requires QR code check-in, you should check yourself in using the Service Victoria app, which can be downloaded via the Apple store or Google Play.

However, there may be times when you cannot check-in for a variety of reasons, including not having a smart phone.  Kiosk check-in allows venue staff to enter your details for you.

If you are at a venue that requires QR code check-in, but you cannot access the Services Victoria app, you can ask staff to help you check-in using Kiosk check-in.

Kiosk check-in can be set up on a device owned and managed by the venue – this lets staff enter your name and contact phone number electronically. This will make it easier for contact tracers to contact people quickly if an outbreak occurs.

Please follow the same good hygiene practices as in any high-touch area; wash your hands.

Will businesses be fined if they are not operating QR code check-in system?

It is critical that businesses that are required to maintain electronic records are using the free Victorian Government QR Code Service. 

If businesses that are mandated to utilise electronic record-keeping(and no amnesty applies), are not operating the free Victorian Government QR Code Service, Authorised Officers may issue an on-the-spot $1,652 fine. 

In using the Victorian Government QR Code Service, businesses will need to make sure the QR code is visible and accessible, and do everything possible to ensure people are checking in – for example, pointing the customer to the QR code and asking them to check in.

A full step-by-step guide for businesses on how to use the free Victorian Government QR Code Check-in System is available here. 

Businesses can register online  here and will need to nominate a contact person for each business location.

What penalties apply to businesses that fail to comply?

If a business that is required to keep electronic records (and no amnesty applies) is found without the free Victorian Government QR Code Service in place, or is not requiring customers to check in, they may be issued with a $1,652 on-the-spot fine for non-compliance, andmay be issued with an improvement notice at the same time to ensure the non-compliance is rectified.

A business may be prosecuted in court for non-compliance.

Who decides the QR Code check-in requirements?

The Victorian Government haset the QR Code requirements, based on advice of the Chief Health Officer and public health advice. 

Who enforces QR Code check-in requirements?

Authorised Officers from across various Victorian Government departments and agencies, such as Department of Health and WorkSafe, conduct regular inspections and enforce industry breaches of Chief Health Officer Directions.

Who can I call if I need help?

If you need help call the Victorian Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Reviewed 18 June 2021

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