Many businesses not implementing proper contact tracing

Despite wall-to-wall coverage about the threat posed by COVID-19 and the new, strict lockdown measures in Victoria, research reveals that many businesses are failing to implement State Government directives designed to keep staff and customers safe.

An independent survey of 304 Australian business owners with customer foot traffic commissioned by SafeEntry Australia – developer of a community-driven COVID-19 touchless check-in app – suggests that 30 per cent of Australian businesses with customer foot traffic do not use a visitor check-in system that complies with their State Government directives, and 21 per cent do not use a check-in system at all.

This is despite the fact that all States and Territories have issued directives for businesses, premises and facilities to collect personal information for COVID-19 contact tracing purposes while adhering to the Privacy Act 1988.

The research reveals that Western Australia may be the least complaint State in adopting check-in systems, with 35 per cent of its businesses with foot traffic not checking in visitors at all. This is followed by 29 per cent of SA businesses, 22 per cent of Victorian businesses, and 16 per cent of Queensland businesses. On the other hand, NSW is the most compliant State with only 14 per cent of its businesses don’t check in visitors.

Among businesses that use a check-in system, 56 per cent of them use a paper-based system. Western Australia has the highest proportion of businesses (69 per cent) that use a paper-based system to track visitors, followed by 67 per cent in the ACT, and an equal 57 per cent in Victoria and Queensland. 48 per cent of NSW businesses use a paper-based system but it also has the highest proportion of businesses (56 per cent) that use digital check-in systems.

The survey also asked businesses whether their systems comply with their State government directives. Western Australia is seen as “worst-performing”, with 45 per cent of its businesses answering “no” or “I don’t know”. This is followed by 25 per cent of ACT businesses, 22 per cent of Queensland businesses, and 21 per cent of SA businesses. On the other hand, more businesses in NSW and Victoria are confident their system complies, with just 19 per cent and 18 per cent answering “no” or “I don’t know” respectively.

Another aspect that was touched upon in the survey is the matter of privacy, especially the willingness of customers to give out their details for COVID contact tracing. Alarmingly, 40 per cent business owners nationally said visitors did not feel comfortable leaving their details. In detail 41-44 per cent of businesses in Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia said their patrons notified them their discomfort in sharing such data, 25 per cent for WA businesses, and 39 per cent of NSW businesses.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of businesses did signify their interest in a touchless check-in solution with an integrated touchless menu display so they don’t have to worry about record-keeping, especially 75 per cent of businesses in Victoria and WA, followed by 71 per cent of NSW businesses, 57 per cent in SA and 59 per cent in Queensland.

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