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Collecting contact information for COVID-19

Updated on: 8 March 2021

A range of businesses are required to collect contact information from staff and patrons for the purpose of contact tracing. Information collected will assist the local public health unit to contact trace in the event a person attended one of these businesses while they were infectious with COVID-19.

As of 1:00am, Wednesday 23 December 2020, all hospitality venues are required to keep all patron contact details electronically and move away from paper-based record keeping.

Information for businesses

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  • A person who owns, controls or operates a restricted business, activity or undertaking (for example, a restaurant or gym) must collect contact information about all guests, patrons and staff at the time of entry and store it for contact tracing purposes for a period of minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 56 days. Hospitality venues such as pubs, clubs and cafes, must collect this information electronically. Collection of contact information is not required for takeaway service or home delivery.

    For each patron, this information must include:

    • Full name
    • Phone number
    • Email address (residential address if unavailable)
    • Date and time of patronage
  • Businesses are required to collect contact information. Contact information means at a minimum, the name, phone, number, email address, and the date and time of attendance of guests, patrons and staff. While it is not a requirement for businesses to capture the departure time of patrons it is encouraged.

    This may include taking reasonable steps to capture the time period of patronage, including a person’s ‘in-time’ and either, the person’s ‘out-time’, have policies that restrict time periods of patronage (for example, a two-hour table limit), or inform the person they are more likely to be contacted by authorities in the event of contact tracing if an ‘out-time’ is not provided.

  • Yes. There are no restrictions on a primary patron providing the contact information for other guest within their party.

    Some ‘check in’ services allow a primary patron to ‘check-in’ other guest in their party, by providing the first and last names of additional guests. In these instances, the guests will take on the primary patrons contact information for the purposes of contact tracing.

    Each adult patron will need to ‘check in’ separately where service being used only records the number of additional people rather than the first and last names of each additional guest.

    Businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that the contact information collected for all patrons is accurate.

  • When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the local public health unit commences contact tracing. Public health officers will assess the movements of the person with COVID-19 while they were infectious and determine who in community are considered ‘close contacts’. Close contacts will be directed to quarantine and may also be tested for COVID-19. Information kept about guests and staff will assist in identifying and contacting the relevant close contacts. This will assist public health officers to contain and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

  • There is no single method for collecting and storing contact tracing information. This is a decision for the individual business. However, hospitality venues such as pubs, clubs and cafes, must collect and store all records electronically. High quality, accurate and well-organised contact information will assist public health officers to contain and respond to the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

    Poor practices associated with the collection, storage and production of contact information will likely hamper contact tracing and may result in a breach of the public health direction. Haste, carelessness or inappropriate collection methods may also result in threats to personal information.

    Requirements for keeping suitable contact information:

    • Advise patrons it is a condition of entry to provide their contact information.
    • Have a clear and consistent method for keeping, storing, producing and destroying contact information. Ensure this method is discussed with all staff.
    • Contact information is required from each patron.
    • Businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure the contact information collected is accurate.
    • Review details provided by patrons to ensure there are no missing fields or clearly false or misleading information.
    • Contact information must be stored such that it cannot be reviewed or tampered with by other patrons (e.g. a running list kept permanently on a dining table is not suitable).
    • Contact information must be stored in a manner that facilitates efficient retrieval for a specified date and/or time (e.g. batched per day).

    Examples of unsuitable methods of keeping contact information:

    • A notebook stored at the front counter that relies on patrons to voluntarily provide contact information without verification from staff.
    • An application where the business has little or no control over producing information within one hour.
    • A sheet of paper and pen permanently kept at a table and is collected at the close of business each day.
  • Businesses can use different ways to collect contact information for contact tracing, including the Check In Qld app.

    The Check In Qld app is a contactless, free, secure and convenient way for customers to sign into a Queensland business. It assists Queensland businesses to easily comply with Public Health Directions by enabling patrons and staff to ‘check in’ at venues and have their contact information securely stored by the Queensland Government.

    Business that choose to use the Check In Qld app will need to register for its use, and to receive their unique identification code (QR code) and a starter kit. For more information, or register to use the app, see the Check In Qld app website.

  • Businesses can choose the electronic means to collect and store contact information.

  • Public health officers will contact the business owner or operator if a person diagnosed with COVID-19 states they attended the business at a time when they were considered infectious. This may be in person or via telephone. Public health officers will require the information of each guest and staff for a specific date and time. Public health officers will not provide details of the person diagnosed with COVID-19.

    It is critical that contact tracing is conducted in a timely manner to limit the spread of COVID-19. While each business may have different methods for collecting and storing information, there is an expectation that details of relevant staff and guests will be produced immediately to a public health officer when required (usually within one hour).

  • Contact information is to be used only for the purposes of contact tracing. All businesses are required to store contact information securely and not use it for any other purpose. This means contact information should not be sold or used for marketing or research purposes. The information must be kept for a minimum of 30 days and deleted 56 days, unless otherwise specified. A failure to comply with those requirements without reasonable excuse is an offence.

    Some businesses may also be subject to the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth). The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner provides useful resources about those obligations at: https://www.oaic.gov.au/.

  • Failure to collect and/or produce contact tracing information, without a reasonable excuse, may result in a fine of $1,334 for individuals and $6,672 for corporations.

Information for patrons

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  • For each patron, you must provide:

    • Full name
    • Phone number
    • Email address (residential address if unavailable)
    • Date and time of patronage

    In the hospitality venues such as pubs, clubs and cafes this information must be provided electronically and only applies to dining in – you do not need to provide contact details for takeaway service or home delivery.

    Your details will be kept for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 56 days to assist with contact tracing, if required, and a business may turn you away if you do not provide your contact details.

  • Yes. A person attending a venue, may provide the contact information for other members of their party.

    Some ‘check in’ services allow a primary person to ‘check-in’ other members of their party, by providing the first and last names of additional guests. In these instances, the guests will take on the primary persons contact information for the purposes of contact tracing.

    So, it is important that people only ‘check in’ guests that are well known to them, for example, family members.

    Each adult patron will need to ’check in’ separately where the service being used only records the number of additional people rather than the first and last names of each additional guest.

  • Yes, people can use the Check In Qld app at participating venues. The Check In App is a secure and easy way to provide your contact information to businesses and to help the Queensland Health contact tracing team quickly identify and assist anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

    The Check In Qld app also allows you to check in family and friends that do not have access to the app or those in your group who don't have a mobile device with them.

    Use of the Check In Qld app is optional. If you do not wish to use the app, the venue you are attending will be able to provide an alternative way to collect your contact information.

    For more information about the Check In Qld app, or to find out where you can download it click here.

  • When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, the local public health unit commences contact tracing. Public health officers will assess the movements of the person with COVID-19 while they were infectious and determine who in community are considered ‘close contacts’.

    That’s why it’s important to provide accurate contact information, so we can contact you if you are affected, helping us respond quickly and effectively to the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and to minimize potential for you to spread the disease to others.

  • Businesses are required to collect and store information for contact tracing purposes. Contact information must be securely stored and should not be used for any other purpose. The information must be kept for a minimum of 30 days and deleted after 56 days, unless otherwise specified. If a business does not comply with those requirements they may be fined.

    If you’re concerned about a business not collecting or storing information appropriately, we recommend having a chat to the staff and find out what measures they have put in place. If you think a business has broken any rules, you can report them to PoliceLink or call 134 COVID – the Queensland Government’s COVID-19 hotline.

    Please contact Policelink at https://forms.police.qld.gov.au/launch/SuspiciousActivity or by calling 131 444.

Last updated: 8 March 2021