Dominic Perrottet confesses there was NO science behind the Covid QR codes put in place during the Omicron surge and they were only put in to make people feel safer
- Premier said there was ‘no science’ behind bringing back QR codes in December
- He said decision was to ‘instil confidence’ in the general public to go out
- Perrottet also said surveillance testing in schools was not supported by Health
Dominic Perrottet has admitted there was no science behind bringing back mandatory QR check-in codes at the beginning of the Omicron outbreak.
In footage of the NSW Premier at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event in February, that resurfaced this week, Mr Perrottet said the decision to mandate residents checking into pubs and stores was made to ‘instil confidence’ into the public.
‘The most ironic (decision) I thought was we ended up bringing QR codes back when we weren’t even tracking and tracing. There was no science behind it at all. It had zero utility,’ he said.
‘But there was a massive campaign and when those campaigns get run what it does is it depletes confidence.’
Dominic Perrottet has admitted there was no science behind bringing back mandatory QR check-ins amid the outbreak of Omicron, but the decision was made to instil confidence into the public
He claimed media reports criticising approaches to Covid made by both the NSW and Victorian governments had instilled fear into the community.
‘And that kind of reporting, as we have seen over this period of time has been depleting confidence in our people,’ Mr Perrottet continued.
‘So we actually brought it back for one reason only – to instil confidence so that people would go out using QR codes.’
NSW residents once again had to check into venues during the Omicron outbreak in December before the restrictions were scrapped altogether in mid-February.
Trade Minister Stuart Ayres in January said even though the QR codes weren’t triggering a contact tracing response, they were used to alert residents to monitor symptoms.
‘QR codes remain a requirement for higher risk settings and many businesses are continuing to make them available voluntarily in other settings,’ he said.
‘QR codes are there to inform people about the presence of Covid cases and to advise people to monitor for symptoms.’
In footage of the NSW Premier at a Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) event, he said the decision to mandate residents checking into pubs and stores was only to ‘instil confidence’
Mr Perrottet in his CEDA appearance also said that free surveillance rapid antigen testing used in schools in NSW and Victoria was not an idea supported by the health department.
‘We (Mr Perrottet and Mr Andrews) procured millions of these tests and had the plan together and distributed them before schools started to three thousand schools across our state and five thousand childcare and early child education centres,’ he said.
‘And by doing that together and having that plan – and this is another interesting thing about the pandemic – Health completely disagreed with this approach, by the way.
‘They didn’t see the point of having surveillance testing, but (the Department of) Education wanted it because we need to once again instil confidence in our teachers and instil confidence in our parents that children would be safe at school.’
Under that decision schools were provided with enough RATs for all students and staff to test themselves twice a week for the first four weeks of Term One.
The premier said that the collaboration between NSW and Victoria in having similar approaches to Covid allowed for residents to have more confidence heading back into society amid the Omicron outbreak.
Surveillance testing used in schools was also not supported by the health department, Mr Perrottet said (stock image)