Fake names such as Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse being entered into the QR code systems of NSW venues are hampering efforts of contract tracers.
NSW residents have been urged to complete QR codes correctly after reports emerged of people signing into venues with fake names and phone numbers.
“What we are finding is that some of the visitors to various venues still think that it is funny to be caught putting in there that you're Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse or a false phone number. That must stop,” NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in Monday's press conference.
“This is a worldwide COVID pandemic. And thinking it's smart to call yourself Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse is about as stupid as it gets,” he added.
Mr Hazzard said contract tracers’ jobs were being made increasingly difficult by incorrect information.
“We need to understand that until there's a vaccine.. the risks will remain.”
Minister Hazzard also warned businesses using QR codes that take patrons to sites other than Service NSW to make sure they are ready to retrieve the data when needed.
“They really need to equip themselves now with the knowledge of who they call in the event that they get a call from Health," he said.
“They need to be able to tell our health contact tracers clearly what the data is that their supplier, their provider, is actually holding."
“Make sure that each of your facilities where you have a QR code being used knows how to contact you to get the relevant data to give over to Health very quickly.”
When asked by reporters why it isn’t mandatory for venues to use Service NSW QR codes, Mr Hazzard said: “We'll work with the community and not be punitive as you're suggesting.”
While QR codes are not mandatory for all businesses, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian encouraged venues to use these systems.
“It's so important for all venues to have their QR codes in place,” she said.
“Places of worship should also have QR codes, be encouraged to have QR codes or at least really good record keeping.”
Ms Berejiklian pleaded with businesses to not let customers inside venues without having appropriate record-keeping systems in place.
“You can't contact people whose details you don't have,” she said.
“You shouldn't be opening your doors as a business or an organisation unless you have your systems in place to get all of the information for people walking through that front door.”
NSW recorded 15 new cases overnight, with all cases linked to the Avalon cluster.