The thousands of interstate travellers required to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering Western Australia will soon be able to virtually check-in with police to ensure their compliance.
WA Police Acting Commissioner Gary Dreibergs said the new G2G Now app would likely be rolled out by the end of September.
“We have 3800 people in the community right now in quarantine – that’s a lot of people to check and a lot of police officers doing that work,” he told Radio 6PR on Thursday morning.
He said the app, made by local tech company GenVis, would be voluntary and those who chose not to opt-in would continue to receive in-person police compliance checks.
If a person who consented to the app failed to respond to its request for a check-in three times, it would trigger a knock on the door from police to investigate any potential quarantine breach.
“Over a period of time we send push messages to you, it could be 2pm or 3pm, and what will happen, your phone will ring and you’ll pick it up and it will ask you to take a photograph of your face in a circle that’s spinning and you’ve got five minutes to take the photograph,” Mr Dreibergs said.
“When it takes that photo then it confirms your location [through your phone geo-location].”
Interstate travellers from Victoria are required to complete mandatory hotel quarantine, similar to those returning from overseas, due to Melbourne’s second wave of coronavirus infections.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, WA Police have had the power to charge a person with failing to comply with a direction under the Emergency Management Act, or issue an on-the-spot fine of $1000.
To August 27, 106 people had been charged, however Mr Dreibergs said most people were doing the right thing.
“We are very happy in this state with the consent model we’re working to, and we’re very happy with what we’re getting,” he said.
“We have breaches occasionally, there’s no doubt about that, you’d like to see 100 per cent, but you don’t get 100 per cent [compliance].”
The G2G Now app is currently in the testing phase and ensuring it meets privacy and storage guidelines.
Heather McNeill is a senior journalist at WAtoday.