1 July 2021

Check In CBR requirements to expand, mask mandate to be reviewed this weekend

| Dominic Giannini
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Andrew Barr

Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced an expansion of the Check In CBR app. Photo: Dominic Giannini.

The ACT’s Check In CBR app will be expanded to include all retail stores, such as supermarkets and petrol stations, public transport and ride shares, as concern grows over the transmissibility of the new Delta variant.

The app was previously only compulsory for certain businesses, mainly in the hospitality industry, but this will change from midday on 15 July.

Despite not being compulsory for another fortnight, the rollout of QR codes for businesses is beginning immediately, as is the new requirement for Canberrans to check in at all locations, regardless of how long they plan on spending in the store.

Previously, people were only required to check-in if they planned to spend more than 15 minutes in the store.

The mandatory check-in requirements will come into effect from midnight tonight (1 July).

Almost 10,670 businesses have signed up to the check-in app, which has been downloaded 817,000 times and used to check-in 18.32 million times since the start of the pandemic.

More than one million check-ins have been made in the last six days.

Fines of around $1000 apply to individuals who flout the check-in measures, up to $8000 if it goes through the courts for egregious breaches – the same fine applies to people who do not follow the mandatory mask requirements.

However, Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the government was considering lowering the fine as it did not line up with the severity of the offence.

The fine for people not wearing a mask when required in NSW is $200.

NSW has recorded 24 new local cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, half of which were in the community while infectious.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said today’s COVID-19 numbers showed that lockdown measures and restrictions were working.

“We are paying the closest attention to what is happening in NSW, and while they have a significant number of new cases today, it is clear that the benefit of the lockdown in Sydney is [becoming] obvious,” he said.

“We are increasingly confident that the work they are doing in NSW is reducing the risk of virus transmission into regional NSW and into the ACT.

“However, there are still several days of elevated risk ahead of us, and so we will continue with our current policy settings in relation to mask-wearing for the next several days at least.”

He said the situation will be reviewed over the weekend before any decisions are made on mask requirements.

READ MORE Canberrans told to reconsider interstate travel

Around 40,000 travel declarations have been made to ACT Health from people who have travelled to areas of concern, while 11,000 of these people are currently subject to stay at home.

There are also 35 close contacts and 104 casual contacts isolating after visiting interstate exposure locations.

The ACT Government is reallowing businesses to provide takeaway alcohol to help minimise the risk of community transmission and respond to the expected increase of takeaway demand in the coming weeks.

The government has also been in touch with ACT Shelter to provide masks to rough sleepers and homeless people who would not have access to or otherwise be able to afford masks.

To learn more about Check In CBR, or to register your business, visit COVID-19.

Original Article published by Dominic Giannini on The RiotACT.

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