Govt considering making Covid-19 tracer app mandatory

Jacky Whitfield scans in before entering Whitcoulls in George St yesterday. ‘‘It’s better to be...
The government is actively considering mandating the use of the Covid-19 tracer app, in a bid to boost the number of people scanning.

There are more than 2 million people registered for the app, but in January the average number of scans per day fell to 465,000.

At this afternoon's Covid-19 update, Minister for the Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins says use of the app increases significantly when there is an outbreak.

"We don't necessarily prepare well, so when we're in a position where people are feeling comfortable they are not always good at taking those precautionary measures, but when we ask New Zealanders to ramp up because we're responding to something, Kiwis are pretty responsive," Hipkins says.

Officials last year looked at whether people should be required to scan in with the app at big events and in places like bars and restaurants, where physical distancing is difficult.

One of the reasons the government has been hesitant to make using the app compulsory is the potential compliance cost, particularly for small businesses, Hipkins says.

"We will certainly be looking at how we can encourage greater uptake and I'm not ruling anything out at this point.

When asked by reporters why the onus would be placed on a business to ensure patrons sign in, instead of the patrons themselves, Hipkins said that was something that was being "worked through".

Officials are looking at what tools the government could give to businesses to increase uptake of the app and what other countries are doing to encourage people to use tracing apps, Hipkins says.

"Experiences from around the world where they might have roaming groups of people walking around to encourage scanning uptake, that eases some of the pressure on businesses to have to do that for themselves."

He points out that bigger shops, like supermarkets, are "well placed" to have a staff member at the front entrance encouraging people to sign in.

"I want to thank those supermarkets who are doing that. For smaller retailers where they may only have one or two people working at any given point in time that can be quite a big challenge for them."


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Thin end of the wedge, what else will they sneak in and make mandatory while carrying this out.

Good point nivaman. Having a ballot paper with only Jacinda on it? We pay the totalitarian Orwellian price because they didn’t do their job. If it is so bad, why are they flying 100s of students from the hot zone to Dunedin?

What about alternative apps such as Rippl? Will they count or only the official app which automatically sends data off-shore and requires setting up yet another account to use?

Rippl stores the details only on the phone and doesn't need an account as the phone itself is the account. I also find that it scans faster and more reliably than the official app.

Voluntary is too soft and mandatory is too harsh.

I think this would be a mistake. Firstly because not everyone has the technology. I don't own a smart phone. My cell phone is old but it works as a phone and I can text on it. I do believe it is capable of connecting to the internet but it certainly can't handle apps, any apps. Unless the govt is handing out smartphones I certainly cannot afford to buy one.
I do however physically sign in to every establishment I enter and in addition maintain a diary which records my daily coming and goings.
Secondly, this would be unenforceable.without massive resources to back it up. Just stupid.
I do not regard the idea as being an intro cement of our liberty, unlike the snowflakes above. In my opinion those who do not keeps record of there travels, either by app or physical records, when identified, should be charged with reckless endangerment or something similar. Failure to follow this simple rule in a pandemic situation is criminal, as it impinges on everyone else's freedom.

So you are able to call others "snowflakes" (and get away with it) but when someone calls you out for it you hit the roof.....

Rothschild, the beautiful English globalist, is Behind This!

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