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‘Fiddly’ app becomes part of daily life

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A “fiddly” new app has been launched in Western Australia which will be used every day by most people to check-in and show proof of their Covid-19 vaccination at venues including restaurants, gyms and nightclubs.

Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson conceded at the launch on Tuesday it would take about 30 minutes to set up the app.

“It is a bit fiddly, but there is huge benefit to getting this done now. You only need to do it once,” she told reporters.

“This will make entering venues and events much quicker and more efficient.”

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Here is everything you need to know about the app.

What is the ServiceWA app?

It is a free and secure mobile app that will allow people to show their proof of vaccination, check-in with SafeWA at businesses and venues, and access their G2G passes for interstate travel.

The app also includes information on how to prepare a household for Covid-19, where to get information about financial assistance, where to get tested and vaccinated, and exposure sites.

Why do you need it?

It is not compulsory to use the app, but it is highly encouraged to make the process of entering venues easier.

The WA government has made it mandatory for everyone to show their proof of vaccination at several types of venues and events, with plans to expand the requirement further.

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It comes as the state government prepares to reopen the WA border on February 5.

Currently, proof of vaccination must be shown at nightclubs, music festivals and major events, pubs, taverns and the Crown gaming floor.

Premier Mark McGowan flagged this week it would soon be mandatory at restaurants and fitness centres, too.

“We are currently finalising a longer-term policy, which will cover a wide range of licensed events and venues, restaurants, as well as riskier environments like indoor fitness centres,” he said.

“If you, for some reason, have not had your first dose yet, my advice would be to make a booking today, otherwise life is about to get very difficult for you.”

How does the app work?

To set up the app, you first download the myGovID app so you can provide your identity information, such as your driver’s licence, Medicare card or passport.

Then you can download the ServiceWA app and set it up, which includes importing your digital certificate for proof of vaccination or a medical exemption.

People will not be required to show additional identification at businesses and venues if they use the ServiceWA app, as opposed to certificates stored in smartphone wallets or hard copies.

What about the SafeWA app?

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You can continue using the SafeWA app but it will eventually become out of date.

The ServiceWA app already includes SafeWA check-in features.

Camera IconPolice Commissioner Chris Dawson says people face fines if they do not comply. Tony McDonough / NCA NewsWire Credit: NCA NewsWire

What about privacy and security?

The ServiceWA app collects your name, date of birth, email address and mobile phone number.

If you link your Covid-19 digital certificate to the ServiceWA app, the WA government also collects and stores your certificate information.

The WA government uses your personal information to verify your identity and provide you with services activated through the app.

You will also get messages in your inbox on the app from government bodies.

Contact tracers will not have access to your vaccination status or digital certificate.

Your personal information will not be sold or shared for commercial purposes, either.

Digital identity uses encryption and cryptographic technology, along with the security features already in your device, including touch ID, face ID and passwords.

How will use of the app be enforced?

Police and other government agencies will conduct spot checks.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said there would be a $1000 on-the-spot fine for people who sneak in or give their phone to a friend.

There is a fine of $50,000 for fraudulently breaching an Emergency Management Act direction.

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