ACT ends mandate of contact tracing app

The Australian Capital Territory government has fully lifted the mandate to use Check In CBR, its QR code-based contact tracing app, across the state.

As of Friday last week, licensed venues, registered clubs, nightclubs, strip clubs, brothels and ticketless events are no longer required to have mandatory scanning requirements.

Automatic Notifications to users who have visited these high-risk settings have also ceased.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT

As the state’s response to COVID-19 has evolved over the past few months, “contact tracing is no longer a key component,” ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said. . ACT began scaling back contact tracing and other COVID-19 measures in December last year.

Still, the state government is encouraging citizens to keep the Check In CBR app on their phones as it will soon be upgraded with a new health screening tool.

According to Stephen-Smith, the upcoming screening tool, which will be released on May 20, is “consistent across facilities, easy to use and leverages Canberrans’ familiarity with the Check In CBR app”.

High-risk facilities such as hospitals and correctional facilities can voluntarily use the upgraded app to streamline medical screening and visitor check-in. They will need to request a new QR code which will automatically launch the filtering function when a visitor checks in through the app.

Another new feature of the contact tracing app is a direct link to an online form for recording positive rapid antigen test results.

THE GREAT TREND

New Zealand also has ended mandatory use of its NZ COVID Tracer app, while dropping mandatory use of vaccine passes. The government has said it sees no need for broader contact tracing except in high-risk settings.

However, he also told citizens to save their apps for when contact tracing will be mandatory again once a new COVID-19 variant emerges.

In Australia and New Zealand, the highly infectious BA.2.12.1 strain of the BA.2 Omicron variant has been detected. It has caused new outbreaks in several places around the world, including the United States and China.