More WA businesses forced to use SafeWA app
The state government has announced an expansion to the mandatory contact register program for WA businesses.
From February 12 additional businesses will be added to SafeWA, including retail venues, takeaway food outlets and hospitals.
The current QR code system requires businesses like restaurants, gyms and cinemas to maintain contact registers.
But a review of the regime has recommended an expansion, after outbreaks in the eastern states were linked to businesses not currently included under WA’s system.
Health Minister Roger Cook told 6PR’s Gareth Parker the extra measures are needed to “keep Western Australians safe”.
“We are being presented with evidence by public health experts, that this is what we need to do to maintain a vigilant and measured approach in relation to COVID-19,” he said.
“What we want to make sure is that we have a good strong data base of people who are moving through different venues.”
In two weeks, retail venues like supermarkets, pharmacies, and hardware stores, as well as takeaway venues, commercial buses, hospitals and even some outdoor events including weddings will also require patrons to scan in with the Safe WA app.
The Health Minister said shoppers will likely be required to scan in as they enter a shopping centre, as well as individual shops.
Businesses using their own QR code will be required to also clearly display the governments SafeWA QR code.
Public transport users are being urged to register their SmartRider card to ensure they can be contacted in the case of an outbreak on a bus, ferry, or train.
People who use the free CAT bus service will also be required to scan the SafeWA QR code.
Information obtained from the app will be securely stored for 28 days by WA health.
Customers and businesses could face stiff penalties if they fail to comply, including fines of up to $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a business, or up to 12 months imprisonment.
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WA President of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Andrew Miller, has welcomed the expansion to the SafeWA app.
He told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett the measures are “better late than never” and said WA has been “lucky” to have no community transmission thus far.
“We’ve got another year or more to live with this whole situation, so it’s good that these things are getting into place.”
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(Photo: Nine News.)