State and territory COVID-19 check-in apps will be granted access to federal government data showing whether citizens have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with the functionality expected to go live this month.
Despite one media report suggesting NSW’s attempt to access the data had been thwarted, federal Digital Minister Stuart Robert’s office confirmed to InnovationAus that work was underway to allow for the sharing.
Once states begin to open up after lockdowns, it’s expected some types of venues will require patrons to provide proof of vaccination in addition to checking in via a QR code, on top of requiring ID if they’re an establishment like a nightclub.
With this in mind, federal and state governments have been discussing whether there is a way to integrate data from the Australian Immunisation Register into state-based check-in apps to make it easier for citizens to check in without having to open separate apps.
Minister Robert’s office referred InnovationAus to comments he made at a doorstop interview on Tuesday last week in Canberra, in which he said he had been working with state and territory colleagues “for many, many weeks” on sharing the data.
“The intent of working with them is to allow an ease for Australians, so when they use that state-based app, not only can they use the state-based QR code in terms of the state processes, but can also demonstrate at the same time, that they’ve been vaccinated,” Minister Robert said.
“That process will be ongoing, and I suspect at this stage, that this will be live across states and territories into September.”
Minister Robert said how states and territories use the data “will be up to them”.
“Whether that vaccination certification data is used will depend of course, upon state and territory public health orders, and that’s a matter for those states and territories.”
On Friday, NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said on LinkedIn that he planned to show a prototype of the integration on Monday.
“I am working with Minister Stuart Robert … so that we can provide people with an option of integrating the vaccine certificate on their Service NSW app,” he said.
A Service NSW spokesperson confirmed the agency was “actively working with the federal government to directly link the authorised vaccination certificate to Service NSW customers’ MyAccount”.
“The process will draw the certificate straight from Medicare, upon authorisation and consent from the customer. It will not allow for a manual upload.
“Customers required to present their vaccination certificate will be encouraged to display it from the Service NSW app, rather than screenshots.”
Minister Dominello has previously lobbied for access to the data, telling InnovationAus that it would be “a very clunky experience to essentially open three different apps just to get through the front door” of some venues.
He said previously that such a record in the Service NSW app could detail whether someone was fully or partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, NSW announced this week that it would begin to scale down the use of contact tracing as vaccination rates rise, and would rely more on its Service NSW app for alerting people if they have been to a venue of concern. New features, as flagged by Mr Dominello, will be introduced into the app to allow for this to occur in late September.
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