Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that the mandatory use of QR codes is “still on the table”.
“We’re concerned with compliance at some Sydney restaurants,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We don’t have any room for complacency and as I foreshadowed last week, mandatory QR codes are still on the table for NSW.”
The Premier’s warning comes after NSW Health had a hard time contact tracing patrons of certain Sydney-based restaurants after two locally transmitted cases were reported overnight on Sunday.
“The people in charge did not do the right thing,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It’s never our intention to out or embarrass business. It’s never our intention to put additional pressure on what is a difficult time, but we can’t compromise our public health and safety. We can’t compromise how well we’re doing.”
According to current NSW rules, hospitality venues are allowed one patron for every 2 square metres in outdoor areas. However, this is conditioned on businesses using electronic methods, like QR codes, to record and keep contact details.
Speaking earlier this month, Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said easing the rules would breathe more life into hospitality venues after a rocky year of closures and limited reopenings, giving the community more opportunities to dine out.
“This is another step towards as normal a life as possible in a COVID-19 world, and will draw more people to our hospitality venues to catch up with family and friends, particularly in outdoor spaces as summer approaches,” Mr Hazzard said.
“In doing so, we increase our risk, so it’s important everyone continues to practise physical distancing and good hand hygiene, and to get tested if unwell and stay home until a negative result is obtained.”
But NSW Health chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant stressed at the time that hospitality venues are still required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
“Hospitality venues will also need to use electronic methods to capture and keep contact records of their patrons, if they wish to take advantage of the new eased restrictions,” Dr Chant said.