22 November 2022

The end is nigh for the Check in CBR app

| Lottie Twyford
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Check in CBR sign

Check In CBR will be turned off on 1 December after more than two years of its use. Photo: Region.

It might be a bit of a stretch to call it the end of an era but switching off the Check In CBR app is at least the end of another element of the Territory’s pandemic response.

The app, which has been in use since September 2020, has been decommissioned and will no longer be available from 1 December.

Check In CBR was originally launched for pandemic contact tracing purposes with people required to scan a QR code and record their presence at a business or venue.

Its use has since expanded to reporting rapid antigen tests and storing COVID-19 vaccination certificates.

It has been downloaded more than 1.25 million times and 117 million check-ins have been recorded across more than 29,000 locations, the Government says.

minister for health Rachel Stephen-Smith

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said it was an appropriate time to switch off Check In CBR. Photo: Thomas Lucraft.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said that now was an appropriate time to switch off the app.

“Canberrans really embraced [it] and have used it to keep track of their movements, hold their vaccination certificate, and link to the form for reporting positive rapid antigen test results,” she said.

Contact tracing largely came to an end in January as cases surged and health authorities could not keep up.

In February, the Government then reduced mandatory check-in requirements, with only “high-risk settings” like pubs, bars, schools and early childhood settings applicable.

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Mandatory checking in ceased altogether in May this year. Checking in has since been used as a screening tool for settings like hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Other Canberrans have continued to use it voluntarily.

“However, as the ACT continues to move towards managing COVID-19 in a manner that is more consistent with other infectious diseases, the app is no longer required and will be switched off,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“We know that we will continue to have waves of COVID-19 into the future, and we will continue to work with the community to manage the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.”

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The more than 250,000 vaccination certificates which have been shared through the app will no longer be accessible through it.

Vaccination certificates can be accessed via the Express Plus Medicare mobile app and myGov.

Instructions for downloading the certificate are available at the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website.

Leanne Castley

Opposition spokesperson for health Leanne Castley called on the Government to scrap the Check in CBR app in February this year. Photo: Region.

The Canberra Liberals called for the app to be scrapped as early as February this year.

Opposition spokesperson for health Leanne Castley argued it was essentially defunct as contact tracing wasn’t taking place anyway.

Ms Castley said it was unnecessary and Canberrans were frustrated with the Government collecting data it didn’t need.

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Simpson’s Paradox made contact tracing pointless from the start.

William Newby6:05 am 23 Nov 22

This app was complete rubbish from the start, I never used it once.
Most studies show that these apps did nothing in reducing the spread.
Getting an alert a day or two later to inform you that you may have been a close contact with someone in Westfield between the hours of 12 and 3 was a complete joke.
This entire exercise was a test on how far Governments can push their flock.

When this check in thing started, my old mobile phone wouldn’t download these app things.
So I’d wander up with others at the stores, take a photo of the thing , and roll in.
Was happily doing this till the lady at my news agent said
‘you know your not foolin anyone you old f**t . Get a new phone before you get into trouble !’

And so by default I became a honouree millennium, with my Telstra Essential 60 buck job from Coles.

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