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Contract Tracing Registers

30 April 2020

We are getting a large number of enquiries regarding contract tracing and what this will look like.  The short answer is we do not currently have all the information and the Government have not released further details on how they wish this to be managed. 

The guidelines that were released prior to the lock down asked hospitality venues to implement a COVID-19 guest register, including:

  • date
  • time
  • full name
  • address
  • phone
  • email addresses

The advice was to keep guest details in the register for 4 weeks. With it only to be used for the purpose of contact tracing at the request of the Ministry of Health or local District Health boards.

There have been a number of rumours about contact tracing apps. Builders have had this technology for ages so they can identify contractors moving in and out of worksites, so similar technology is already there.   Developers all seem to be scrambling to put something together on this.  The biggest players are apple and google, who are both developing their own contact tracing apps.

The tracking app released by the Australian Government (and other places around the world so probably what our Government will go for) monitors where you go, so if you are in contact with an infected person (for 15 mins) you can be tracked back for testing.  We believe it is based on the TraceTogether app originally commissioned by the Singapore Government.

There has been some backlash in regards to privacy, as it is stored on amazon cloud servers.  It uses Bluetooth in the phone (potentially draining the battery as Bluetooth needs to be on and broadcasting constantly) to detect any other phone with Bluetooth running the app nearby and logs the connection.  It then uploads that information every two hours to the central data store.  This is quite different to logging visitors to hospitality premises though. 

The Government is looking at including a QR code reader so that visits to hospitality venues can be logged – they have not indicated at this stage whether this will include any ability for the venues themselves to have access to this information, or whether this could potentially replace a manual tracking system.  With the Government provided app being voluntary overseas, we doubt that it will include added features for venues.  With that in mind, what are the options for clubs

  1. Paper based sign in system (already used by many), we have created two template options which are available in the resource room under COVID-19 Resources.  For this to be successful every person entering and exiting the club will need to complete the register, it will also need to be monitored (i.e. not left at the door for members to pick and choose whether they complete it).
  2. Phone app based system such as the ripple app being developed by posBoss/paperkite.  With these systems the venue registers and pays a fee (currently one off $35 for ripple).  This will get you a QR code which you print and display at the entrance and serving areas.  The member/visitor downloads an app and enters their contact details.  When visiting the club, they open the app on their phone and use their phone camera to scan the club’s QR code.  This registers them as a visitor to that venue.  When they leave, they press some buttons in the app to register they have left the club.  We expect there will be reports, etc that the venue can do, but as there are currently no working prototypes yet details are a bit scarce.

It is a bit vague at the moment so we are waiting for the Government to release details on how they actually want it to work, we would recommend that clubs hold fire on committing to any paid apps or software until further details are released.

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