TODAY |

Department of Conservation brings in more Covid Tracer QR codes at walks, toilets

The Department of Conservation is ramping up the number of QR codes it displays, now allowing people to scan in while on hikes and at other visitor facilities.

Source: Photos.com

Kiwis have headed into the great outdoors in droves this summer, with widespread international border restrictions blocking the chance of overseas trips due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the moment, DOC only has Covid Tracer app posters displayed at visitor centres and serviced campsites, as required by law.

Today the government department confirmed that's going to change.

It means QR codes will be brought in at huts on the Great Walks, as well as toilets and shelters at high-use areas.

"We acknowledge that having QR codes clearly visible encourages people to follow the right behaviours and the practice of scanning regularly," says Steve Taylor, director of heritage and visitors.

However not all trails, facilities or huts will have the codes — only ones that see high use.

DOC says it "will not be practical" for every facility to get a code. 

People are encouraged to add manual diary entries within the app if they're visiting a spot without a QR code, or track their location by other means such as filling in the hut book, taking photos or keeping a personal diary.

“It’s incredibly important we don’t become complacent around the use of QR codes and Covid-19," Taylor says.

"More people than ever are enjoying the outdoors this summer and we strongly encourage people to use QR codes at DOC facilities when they see them."

Taylor says the existing online booking system for huts "already ensures our most popular huts have an effective contact tracing system in place".

Under law, all businesses and services need to display posters with QR codes for the Covid Tracer app at prominent locations unless otherwise exempt.