Sites such as shopping centres and cafes could be the first to abandon the COVIDSafety protocol, which has become part of everyday life for most Australians since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A move to voluntary checking in could occur as soon as Christmas if health authorities give it the green light.
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello has said he would support the transition but insisted QR code check ins would remain in high-risk zones such as gyms and pubs into next year.
The change will also be contingent on COVID cases continuing to drop.
Mandatory QR code check ins could be abandoned in low-risk settings across NSW, but are set to remain in high-risk sites into 2022. Picture: Supplied
“We are still living in pandemic conditions and the technology continues to play an important role in assisting contact tracers,” Mr Dominello said, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
“I am optimistic we can retire the use of QR codes in lower risk settings … subject to case numbers and vaccination rates.”
NSW is also expected to reduce the quarantine period for close contacts of positive cases and only require them to isolate until a negative test result is received.
The 95 per cent fully vaccinated target is looming for NSW, with 94.3 per cent of residents aged 16 and over having received one dose of a COVID vaccine and 91.5 per cent are fully vaccinated.
If the changes are made to NSW’s COVID management plan, it will see the state adopt the same model as Victoria.
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Mr Dominello acknowledged checking in was frustrating for patrons, and further confirmed mandatory QR codes would be removed when Health determines it safe to do so depending on the level of coronavirus in the community, meaning they could reinstated if cases spike.
“I admit the system isn’t the best customer experience and as the architect of this digital infrastructure, I will not hesitate to remove it when appropriate,” he said in a statement to news.com.au.
“I am optimistic we can retire the use of QR codes in lower-risk settings in the near future, subject to case numbers and vaccination rates. NSW’s world-leading vaccination rate means blue skies beckon for 2022.”
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The collection of personal data via mandatory check in apps is under scrutiny with the NSW upper house to debate a bill on Friday which would guarantee personal information collected through the process can only be used for contact tracing purposes and for public health reasons.
Australia’s privacy watchdog this year called for a ban on police having the ability to access the personal data collected via the check-ins.
Police forces in Western Australia and Queensland successfully obtained information from QR check ins to assist in their investigations, while Victoria Police attempted to access data on several occasions but was denied, the SMH reported.

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