COVID-19 coronavirus: Contact registers and SafeWA frequently asked questions

Your mandatory contact register and SafeWA questions answered


Which businesses are required to maintain a contact register?

The following businesses are required to maintain contact registers for WA Health Department COVID-19 contact tracing, if needed:

  • food and licensed venues (restaurants, takeaway services, food courts, cafés, bars, pubs, taverns, nightclubs)
  • retailers (supermarkets, department stores, pharmacies, hardware and general retailers) and the retail components of other businesses (bank branches, post offices, manufacturing showrooms)
  • gyms, indoor sporting centres, wellness centres, health clubs and fitness centres
  • indoor play centres
  • saunas and bathhouses
  • swimming pool, both indoors and outdoors
  • places of worship, and funeral parlours
  • beauty and personal care services (hairdressers, barbers, nail salons, tattoo parlours, spa and massage parlours)
  • galleries and museums
  • cinemas, theatres and other entertainment venues (casino, gaming or gambling venues)
  • motor vehicles or boats which are capable of carrying 12 or more passengers and is used on a commercial basis for a party, tour or function
  • auction houses and real estate inspections
  • community facilities, libraries and halls
  • zoos and amusement parks
  • function centres
  • hotels, motels, campgrounds or other accommodation facilities that ordinarily have check-in arrangements
  • boarding schools or residential colleges (not including residents)
  • adult entertainment premises (strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues)
  • venues where events are held and certain outdoor functions and gatherings under 500 people (e.g. weddings, corporate functions, fetes, festivals, markets, funerals/memorial services).
  • public and private hospitals (visitors only – persons visiting patients or attending meetings/lectures, couriers, and contractors)

Refer to the Contact Register Directions for a more detailed list of particular businesses and venues.

How do I register contacts — which modes of registration are acceptable?

It is up to you how you collect this information, provided you collect the necessary details (name, phone number, date and time someone enters the premises). The 3 most common options are:

  1. WA Government’s SafeWA app, which provides an easy, safe and efficient digital contact register system. Use of this app is encouraged, and endorsed by WA Health.
  2. Paper-based register – suggested formats and templates are available to assist you
  3. Electronic-based register e.g. a form on a tablet at the front of your business.

If you use SafeWA or an electronic-based register, you must also have a paper-based or manual register to ensure access to your premises is inclusive and allows patrons that may not or choose not to use SafeWA to check-in.

If you use your own QR code for your contact register, you are also required to provide and clearly display the SafeWA QR code as an option for patrons. This helps reduce confusion and makes it easier for WA Health to access information for contact tracing.

Businesses may choose to use other electronic sign-in methods of registration. If they use an electronic system different to the SafeWA contact register app, they will need to ensure the method they choose complies with the legal requirements. This includes storing the information collected for at least 28 days and making it available to WA Health if required.

What information do I need to record in a contact register?

The contact register must record the name, contact telephone number, location, date and arrival time of patrons.

Do I need to record the details of everyone that visits my premises?

You are required to request the contact details of each person that appears to be aged 16 years and over who enters a place listed above, including patrons, staff, volunteers and contractors.

Records are not required to be collected for:

  • children under 16 years
  • people entering for medical or emergency purposes

Unaccompanied children under 16 are encouraged but not required to register. Adults accompanying children under 16 are encouraged to register for them.

Who is responsible for maintaining the contact register?

The occupier or other person apparently in charge of a place is required to maintain a contact register.

For example, the occupier or other person in charge of a restaurant will be required to maintain a register of anyone entering the premises.

If a local hall is hired for a function, the occupier or other person in charge is responsible for maintaining the register for the period of the function.

How does the SafeWA app contact register work?

  1. Businesses download the SafeWA app through the Apple or Google Play App Store and register their venue(s). They will then receive a welcome pack which includes supporting information and a unique QR code for each venue.
  2. The business can print hard copies of the QR code on posters that are placed in the premises and/or use an electronic device (such as a tablet) to display the QR code.
  3. When a patron arrives at the businesses’ premises, they use the SafeWA app, if they have downloaded it, to scan the QR code.
  4. The smartphone reads the code, and they will be checked-in and see a confirmation on their device
  1. Through the check-in process, the patron’s name and telephone number as well as the date and time they attended the venue, are collected and stored in the WA Health database.
  2. A staff member at the premises may choose to check the successful sign-in on the patron’s phone.

SafeWA is accessible only if you have a compatible smartphone. SafeWA is compatible with Apple iPhone model 5S (and later) with iOS 9.3 (and higher), plus most Google Android mobile devices running Android 5.0 (and higher).

What happens if patrons visiting my premises don’t have a smartphone that supports using the QR code system?

For this reason, you are required to provide an alternative manual method for patrons to provide their contact details in case they cannot or choose not to use the SafeWA app. This could be a paper-based register or an electronic sign-in form. A template for a written contact register form is available on the Contact registers stakeholder toolkit page.

How do I store contact information and protect the privacy of patrons?

If your business keeps paper or electronic records, you are required to protect (using reasonable steps) patrons’ contact details from misuse or loss, and unauthorised access, modification or disclosure.  The WA Government has developed a suggested format for paper-based contact registration that involves placing completed paper slips into an enclosed container. Businesses should ensure registration details are kept out of the view of other patrons.

If you use SafeWA, contact register information collected through the SafeWA contact register app is stored securely for at least 28 days and accessed, only if needed, by WA Health contact tracers. This means the data is not stored by the business.

Do I need to record contact details of my staff?

Yes, you are required to record the contact details of your staff, and any volunteers or contractors.

How long do I have to keep contact register records?

Contact register records must be kept for at least 28 days, or such longer period as required by the State Emergency Coordinator or a person authorised by the State Emergency Coordinator.

What happens if my business does not maintain a contact register? What are the penalties?

Not having a contact register may put the Western Australian community at risk, as it will slow the process for contact tracing if a COVID-19 affected patron visits your premises.

Businesses that put the community at risk in this way risk penalties under the Emergency Management Act 2005, including a fine of up to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a body corporate, or 12 months imprisonment. Infringement notices can also be issued.

Penalties also apply to businesses for:

  • not being able to provide a record of the contact information  as soon as practicable, but no later than three hours, after the request is made by a responsible officer


  • not being able to produce a record of the contact information for inspection by an authorised officer on request for the purpose of checking compliance with the contact register requirements


  • using or disclosing contact information for purposes other than contact tracing, unless permitted by law or if a person expressly provided their contact details for other purposes.

Individual patrons can also face penalties for:

  • providing false information in connection with the provision of their contact details


  • entering a place after being requested to provide contact details and refusing to provide these details.

Am I responsible for ensuring contact information provided by patrons is accurate?

There is no requirement for businesses/occupiers to verify the accuracy of contact details provided.

Can I refuse entry to patrons who refuse to provide contact details?

Businesses are encouraged to exercise any existing legal rights to control who enters their premises by refusing entry to patrons who refuse to provide their contact details.

Individuals can face penalties for entering a premises after refusing to provide their contact details.

How will compliance be checked?

Authorised officers may inspect premises to monitor compliance with contact register requirements. A business must produce a record of the contact information for inspection by an authorised officer on request for the purpose of checking compliance with the contact register requirements.

At venues like nightclubs where your ID is scanned, is a secondary contact register required?

Yes, a contact register is still required because an ID does not contain sufficient contact details to facilitate effective contact tracing if required.

All venues must record the date, name, telephone number and arrival time for every patron entering the premises.

How do patrons check in to a campground if there are no staff onsite?

If a campground does not have an existing check-in process for visitors (e.g. no monitoring when visitors arrive/depart, no keys to collect) they are not required to maintain a contact register.

Do people staying in accommodation facilities need to register their attendance each time they re-enter over the course of their stay?

Accommodation facilities that already have check-in arrangements in place (such as hotels) are required to keep a contact register of all guests. A guest is required to provide their contact details when they first arrive at and enter the facility, however they are not required to provide their contact details each time they leave and re-enter during their stay. 

If patrons have the COVID Safe App, does my business still need a contact register and/or contact register app?

Yes. The contact register is a separate data repository and the SafeWA contact register app uses different technology than that used by the Australian Government’s COVID Safe App.

Am I able to use my own QR code system that I have set-up for my business?

The WA Government strongly encourages the use of the SafeWA App. If you use your own QR code system to register patrons, you must also provide SafeWA as an option for patrons, and clearly identify and display it next to your own QR code.

If you use your own QR code system to register patrons, you must be able to produce contact information in response to a request from a responsible officer and an authorised officer and otherwise meet the requirements of the directions made under the Emergency Management Act 2005.

How is the data stored on SafeWA?

Data is encrypted at the point of capture and stored securely for at least 28 days.

Where do I put the QR code at my business?

Your QR code should be displayed in a prominent position at your premises where your patrons can easily view and scan the code, preferably at the entrance/s.

You may display the QR code in multiple locations to make it easy for your patrons to check-in, for example at the entrance/s to the premises and at the service counter.

How many of my staff members can access the SafeWA business account at the same time?

There is no limit to the number of users who can access the SafeWA business account to check patrons in if required.

How many people can I register for my business as administrators of the app?

Each business can register a primary contact and a secondary contact. This enables WA Heath to contact the relevant business if contact tracing is required.

Does the SafeWA app have a confirmation screen that staff at a venue can check to ensure patrons have scanned the QR code on entry? If so, are staff obliged to check this has been done?

If patrons use the SafeWA app to check-in at a venue, a confirmation screen will appear on their device once they have successfully checked-in.

Businesses are required to request the contact details of each person that enters their premises, but are not required to verify or confirm the accuracy of the information provided. Where possible, staff are encouraged to ensure patrons have checked-in either through the SafeWA app or the venue’s contact register. However, there is no obligation to do so.

How many additional people can an individual register on their app? Is there a maximum limit?

There is no maximum limit for individual registrations.

If I’ve booked a restaurant online and provided my contact details, do I still need to fill out the contact register or scan a QR code when I arrive?

Yes. The contact register is a separate data repository and is different to the booking systems used by many WA restaurants.

Separate to the booking process, the business is required to request you to provide your name and contact telephone number, and will record the location, date and your arrival time in their contact register.

If I have the COVID Safe app, do I still have to sign the contact register or scan a QR code?

Yes. The contact register is a separate data repository and the SafeWA app uses different technology than that used by the Australian Government’s COVID Safe app.

Even if you are using the COVID Safe app, you will still be asked to provide your name, contact number and email, location and login time manually on the contact register, or by scanning the QR code.

Is there an alternative to having to download an application? Can I just use a website form?

There is no alternative website form of the SafeWA app. The only alternative method for signing into a venue is through the manual contact register that all venue operators must provide.

Do I need to register my whole family if we attend a venue, place or premises?

If you are visiting a venue as a family, all individuals aged 16 years and over in your group will need to register their contact details, however, any children in your group (under 16 years) do not need to register their details. Adults that accompany children under 16 are encouraged to register the children’s details.

You can save the details of people you frequently check-in manually so you don’t need to type their name and number every time

Do I need to check out when I leave?

There is no requirement to check-out.

Can I view my last check-in?

A sound alert will let you know you have scanned and checked in successfully. Proof of your last check-in is available by the history icon in the app.

Page reviewed 10 May 2021