Tracking virus spread



When lockdown ends and people return to bars and restaurants, it’s likely customers will have to register their details – a process about to get a lot easier thanks to a Queenstown business duo.

Richard McLeod and James Arnott – who own bars in the resort – are majority shareholders in new app, GuestHQ.

It can assist the Ministry of Health contact those who may have been exposed to Covid-19, by logging who enters a business.







McLeod says before lockdown, the government asked bars and restaurants to keep registers of their customers, and “we could see it was going to be a total nightmare”.

Solutions included pen and paper logs, which left personal details open to the next person in the queue, long lines at tablet stations or kiosks, and hygiene issues relating to shared equipment.

The pair came up with a “simple check-in application” within 48 hours of the lockdown coming into effect – 2000 businesses have since signed up.

So far, 500,000 people have used the secure app to check in to various signed-up venues.

Customers register once on the website and then use the app on their phone to check in quickly when they enter a building.

“You select the venue and hit check in, then you get this nice big green tick on your screen.”

That’s shown to staff, while the customer’s details are held securely.

McLeod believes widespread adoption at Alert Level 2 will have multiple benefits over individual companies logging customers.

“As a consumer, you are not going to want 25 ways of checking in to all these places.”

It’ll also make things easier for health professionals to track down those who may have been exposed to the virus.

It’s already attracting international interest and McLeod’s hopeful success can lead to new jobs.