Fake names and numbers putting broader community at risk
13 June 2020
Customers who provide false contact details at venues are putting the health of other Queenslanders at risk – and threatening the state’s hard-earned progress made over the past 6 months.
Queensland Health requires businesses such as restaurants, bars and clubs to collect and store the details of every person who enters their premises.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the information would be vital if a patron or staff member tested positive to COVID-19.
“If someone with the disease has been to a venue, we urgently need to know who else might be at risk of infection,” she said.
“Having the names, phone numbers and email addresses of all customers and employees is critical in the event we have to carry out contact tracing and help minimise the spread of the disease.
“Time is of the essence in this task, so businesses must have this information on-hand so we can quickly track down people who may have been exposed and may need to be tested.”
The approved Industry COVID Safe Plan and Restrictions on Businesses, Activities and Undertakings Direction (No. 3) also require operators to record the times people were on the premises. All businesses are obliged to heed privacy regulations.
Dr Young said while the vast majority of Queenslanders were compliant, there had been reports of customers providing either false or incomplete details.
People who fail to produce contact tracing information without a reasonable excuse can be fined $1,334.
“People who provide fake names or numbers for whatever reason are not just putting themselves at risk, they’re putting their own family and friends at risk,” Dr Young said.
“If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you need to know as soon as possible so you and your close contacts can act, including getting tested. Contact tracing is the safest and most effective way for that to happen. That’s why we need correct details.”
Dr Young has sent letters to businesses reminding them of their requirements under the health direction.
Businesses that fail to collect and/or produce contact tracing information face fines of $6,672. For more information on COVID-19 directions and prevention advice, visit www.health.qld.gov.au.