How contact tracing helps
To stop the spread of COVID-19, we need to trace the contacts of anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19. Recording people’s movements helps us to do this quickly and efficiently.
The faster we can trace contacts, the faster we can prevent further spread of the disease.
Who needs to collect contact tracing information
Non-retail businesses and services
All non-retail businesses must record details of all people’s movement on their premises. This includes all employees, visitors and customers. You must keep people 1 metre apart, where practical.
Retail businesses do not need to record details of their customers. This includes shopping malls, supermarkets, marketplaces, takeaway food and retail stores.
You must keep records of your employees and any visitors, such as maintenance workers or suppliers. You must keep customers 2 metres apart, where practical.
If you operate two separate services on the same premises, you’ll need to collect contact tracing information for non-retail services. For example, a garden centre and café that operate from the same premise can both do so, but the café must keep records of its customers as a hospitality business.
How to collect contact tracing information
There are multiple different ways you can set up a contact tracing register. For example, a paper register, using an app or scanning a membership card.
If you have an existing booking system, such as a hairdresser or doctor, consider whether you can use that to meet your record-keeping requirements.
Your contact tracing register or record-keeping system must collect people’s:
- full name
- phone number or email or other effective means of communicating with them
- date of entering the business
- time in and out.
Contact tracing apps
There are many different apps you can use to collect information to help with contact tracing.
The Ministry of Health has created a tracing app — NZ COVID Tracer. This app works by scanning a QR code on a poster at participating businesses. The app then keeps track of where someone has scanned so they know where they have been.
Get help with NZ COVID Tracer
You should make sure your register is hygienic. Assign an employee to complete the register for your team or visitors, so only 1 person is touching the pen and paper. Or sanitise the pen after every use and ask people to sanitise their hands before and after writing their details.
If you’re using paper registers, it’s best for privacy and security if:
- a staff member records the details, so others don’t see the contact tracing register
- you use a cover that hides previous entries in your register from other people
- you keep your register at a counter or other such place where staff can keep an eye on it
- you make sure you’re removing full sheets immediately and storing them safely
- you use fewer rows on a single page of the register.
Non-retail business templates
- Contact tracing information sheet for non-retail businesses and services [PDF, 1.5 MB]
- Contact tracing register for non-retail businesses and services [PDF, 1.6 MB]
Retail business templates
Keep information secure and private
Whenever you collect personal information you need to treat it with care and keep it safe. This means you must:
- keep your contact tracing register secure for 2 months. When records are 2 months old, they must be destroyed
- only share your register with the Ministry of Health or district health boards
- not use the information you collect for any other purpose, for example, marketing or customer surveys
- explain why you’re collecting someone’s personal information
- make sure customers cannot see anyone else’s personal information.
There are specific requirements and guidelines depending on how you’re collecting personal information for contact tracing.
Retail businesses, such as shopping malls, supermarkets, marketplaces, takeaway food and retail stores, do not need to record details of their customers.
More information about contact tracing