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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Service NSW Is Piloting an Update to Its App That Integrates COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates

When Sydney's lockdown ends, the plan is to let everyone check in at venues and show proof that you're vaccinated with the same app.
By Sarah Ward
September 22, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
September 22, 2021
  shares

Before Sydney went into its current lengthy lockdown, whipping out your phone, opening the Service NSW app and using it to check in at venues had become a normal part of everyday life. When the city begins to reopen again — when 70-percent of New South Wales residents have had both their COVID-19 vaccinations, which is expected around mid-October — you'll be falling back into that habit. And, ideally, that's how you'll also show that you're fully vaxxed as well.

Crucial to NSW's roadmap out of lockdown is loosening rules and restrictions for folks who've received both vaccination doses — as also applies with the state's current outdoor gathering rules, which came into effect in mid-September. So, unsurprisingly, the government wants to streamline the process of showing that you've been double-jabbed.

Today, Wednesday, September 22, NSW Minister for Digital and Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello announced that the state will pilot an update to the existing Service NSW app that integrates vaccination certificates — which are provided by the Federal Government via its immunisation register. The aim is to start to test the update in regional NSW with 100–500 people from Tuesday, October 6, for two weeks.

"Hopefully, the subject of that pilot will be strong, and as a result of that we can then open up to the rest of the state," Dominello said at NSW's COVID-19 press conference.

At present, you can access your COVID-19 vaccination certificate via the Medicare Express app, and then either keep logging in there when you need to show it, or save it to your Google or Apple wallet. "What we will be doing is integrating that, and providing people with the option of then having it in their Service NSW app to make it really easy when they're checking into venues across NSW," the Minister said. "That way, you don't have to open up several different apps just to get into a venue. You open up one app, the Service NSW app. On that app, it'll enable you to check in, and at the same time on that same screen it'll show your vaccination status," he continued.

You will need to consent to give the app authority to access your immunisation record, so it won't happen automatically. First, though, the NSW Government is still working with the Commonwealth Government regarding access to the latter's data, and is also consulting with industry on the design of how it should work. It's also planning to implement security features, such as a hologram just like on digital drivers licences, as well as another QR code.

It's expected that the app might be able to be used to show your vax status when state borders reopen as well.

Whether the update to the app will be ready to be rolled out statewide when Sydney comes out of lockdown isn't yet known. But, if it isn't, you'll be able to show proof of vaccination via the Medicare Express app, or your Google or Apple wallet, until it is.

For more information about the Service NSW app, or to download it if you haven't already, head to the government department's website.

Published on September 22, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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