Troubleshooting check-in

Common problems, issues and concerns about using QR codes or other ways of checking into businesses and venues.

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Updated rules around QR code check-in

From 27 December 2021, some businesses and organisations will need a NSW Government QR code so that staff and customers can check in using the Service NSW app.

Check the list of premises that need to comply.

To access your NSW Government QR code, check if you've already registered as COVID Safe or find a lost QR code.

If you haven't yet registered as COVID Safe, you'll need to register to access your NSW Government QR code.

Add your COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service NSW app

From 15 December 2021, you no longer need to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated at most premises in NSW.

You can now add your COVID-19 digital certificate to the Service NSW app. This will allow you to quickly check-in and show proof of vaccination wherever it’s required.


Problems checking in

No smart phone

You can still visit businesses, organisations and events if you do not have a smart phone or you're not comfortable checking in electronically.

If you do not have a smart phone, ask a staff member for help to enter your details in their system, or ask them to manually take your contact details.

You may also be required to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

System not working or internet outage

You can check in manually if you are not able to check in electronically (for example, there is an internet outage) or you do not have a smart phone.

Ask a staff member to take your contact details.

You may also be required to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

Not a NSW Government code

Not all businesses are required to use the Service NSW check-in system. 

If you are trying to check in with the Service NSW app and the business is using a different system you will see this message:

This is not an NSW Government code. Please see staff for help.

If you have another QR code reader on your phone, try using it to scan the code. You should then be able to enter your contact details into the system the business is using.

Otherwise, ask the staff to record your details.

You may also be required to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

QR code not working with your camera

Check that your phone camera is working and the lighting is adequate.

Hover the open camera app over the QR code and allow it to focus.  You don't need to take a photo of the QR code.

If your camera is able to pick up a QR code this way

  • you will receive a pop-up notification or
  • tap the QR code image on your screen.

If the QR code is still not working, it could be that your smartphone does not allow your camera to scan QR codes. 

You can check if your mobile phone is compatible. If your mobile isn't compatible, we recommend you check in by using an app or manually.

If you are still unable to scan the QR code, ask the staff to record your contact details for you.

You may also be required to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

Can't download the Service NSW app

You don't need to have the Service NSW app installed to use the Service NSW check in system. Look for the check-in Webform after scanning the QR code.

Screenshot of Service NSW app showing webform COVID check-in option

The Service NSW app works best on phones that are kept updated with the latest operating systems. 

  • Android version 6.x (Marshmallow) and higher
  • iOS12 and higher

Lower versions of operating systems may no longer be supported. 

If you're having trouble downloading and installing the app, try updating your phone software. Look in the phone settings to find information about software updates.

Not used a QR code before

If you've never used a QR code before, take a look at our guide for first time users.

Check-in rules

Takeaway items or dropping off goods

Records are not required for customers or visitors collecting takeaway items or dropping off goods.

Businesses can find out more about how and when to collect customer contact details.

Why the check-in system was introduced

Under the public health order, certain businesses, events and venues must collect and retain electronic records. Some businesses may also be required to check a customer's proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

This forms part of their COVID-19 Safety Plan, which is mandatory for some businesses and recommended for others.

This is to assist NSW Health with contract tracing and prevent community transmission of COVID-19.

Privacy and security protections

Business owners and venue operators must ensure the information they record is stored confidentially and securely and only used for the purpose of tracing COVID-19 infections. They must keep this information for at least 28 days.

If the business is going to use your details for marketing purposes (such as sending you emails) they must inform you clearly and obtain your consent.


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