The New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard this morning emphasised the importance of all venues, including retail, to record patron details either with the NSW Services QR Code, or a pen and paper to help those without a smart phone.

The Minister said that with the nature of the delta variant in Greater Sydney at the moment, he was more concerned than he has been at any point during the pandemic and called on everyone in the area to do their bit to curb this outbreak.

“This is no time for game playing, this is no time for stupidity,” the Minister said.

“This is a very serious situation that we are now in. This delta virus has shown itself to be very capable of spreading extremely quickly and in circumstances that NSW residents haven’t really experienced in the same way before.

“This is a proportionate and sensible response, but it will only work if the community are on board with us and make sure you listen to the messages, use the masks and equally particularly is QR Codes.

“I know from my experience that there’s a degree of tiredness, a degree of apathy about the response to the virus, but in a sense this is a new and more dangerous version of the virus, and that apathy has to be swept away and we have to actually take it seriously.”

He added: “The QR Codes should be used whenever you are entering any of the various places where there will be QR Codes, and you should make that if you don’t have QR Codes, if you have an older style phone, and there are a lot of older citizens of NSW who don’t have data on their phones. What I would say to hospitality providers, shopkeepers and others, make sure you have alternative methods of knowing who has been in your shop.

“It may make a difference to all of us, to know that one person who came in and left with this particular delta variant. So every retailer, every hospitality centre, every opportunity where one of our citizens is going to be entering into your premises, make sure you have the QR Code visible, make sure you are checking as far as is humanly possible to get everybody to sign in on the QR Code and if they happen to not have a data phone, make sure there is written capacity ready and available.

“We are all in this together, this is quite serious. I have to say as NSW Health Minister I am as worried right now as I have been at any time since January last year, so we need to make sure we are all looking after each other.”

Retail Drinks Australia told The Shout, it has a number of resources available to help retailers with QR Codes and operating in a COVID-safe environment, which are also available to non-Retail Drinks members.

“In line with the NSW Government’s advice, Retail Drinks is advising all NSW Members to visit the Service NSW website to download a QR Code for their business,” the association said.

“Further to this, we also strongly recommend that retailers adopt social distancing measures in-store where practically possible, including those outlined in our Social Distancing Guidelines for Retail Liquor Stores.

“This resource is available through our website to all liquor retailers, regardless of whether they are a Retail Drinks Member or not.”

The Minister’s call to action comes as the NSW Premier announced further restrictions as a result of this outbreak, and while she stopped short of a lockdown, the Premier did not rule out further restrictions should the outbreak continue.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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