Deadline for businesses to display QR tracer code
Businesses have until noon today to display the government's COVID Tracer QR code at their doors or reception areas before it becomes mandatory.
As of yesterday, there had been more than 234,000 QR posters generated, but app users said some doctors clinics and retirement villages were yet to make the sign-in option available.
On Colombo Street in the Christchurch suburb of Sydenham - home to coffee shops, clothes stores, banks and beauty parlours - RNZ found 17 of 20 businesses had the government's QR poster, usually accompanied by a pen and paper contact tracing alternative.
For most businesses, it was a recent addition. Shosha retail assistant Deepika Mammai said her store added the poster last Wednesday when Auckland went into lockdown.
"On that day we got instructions from our head office that we should put up QR codes," she says.
Among the three which didn't have the government's official QR code on display, one menswear store was still relying solely on pen and paper, claiming most of its customers don't have smartphones - but it promised to have the code up by lunchtime.
The other two, a sushi store and a dairy, couldn't say if they would also meet the deadline.
The number of customers using the app varied between stores, with Pure Hair & Body owner Pip Adams impressed to see all her clients scanning in.
"Everyone's doing it. We've got a back door as well, so they're doing it on the way in and some of them are checking and signing in [on paper] as well," she said.
Yet at the busy Sydenham bakery, owner Cheryl MacGibbon said the customers ducking in and out through the strip curtains were rarely stopping to scan.
"I haven't seen anyone use it to be perfectly honest," she says.
Elsewhere in the country, the gaps in the government's QR code rollout appeared to be wider.
RNZ has heard from multiple people who say their local doctor's clinic doesn't have a way to sign in.
Tauranga resident Adam Hughes is one, and he is also concerned to see no QR code at a nearby retirement village he visits as an essential worker, delivering Meals on Wheels.
"They've got to be some of the most important places to actually track. At doctors people who think they might have COVID are going to be tested. Then you've got the residential rest homes where they need to know if anyone has been there... those are some of our most vulnerable people," he says.
The Ministry of Health will be announcing how it will police the QR codes later this week.
It says it will take a "pragmatic approach" to businesses which didn't meet today's deadline of 11.59am, but continued breaches could incur a fee of $300 or a court fine of up to $1000.
As of 1pm yesterday, Director-General of Health, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said nearly 1.5 million people, or 37 per cent of the population, had downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app.
QR codes can be generated through a link on the Ministry of Health website.