Victorian government appeals for participants in home quarantine ‘selfie’ check-in pilot program


The Victorian government is appealing to Victorians currently in COVID-19 isolation to take part in a pilot program to test a home quarantine check-in process.

Health Minister Martin Foley announced the commencement of the app-based scheme on Tuesday in a bid to find an alternative to hotel quarantine for returning travellers in the long term.

The pilot program will require participants to check in by providing a selfie which is linked to location-based technology to confirm the person’s identity and location at that specific time.

It comes as the state marked another record day with 867 new COVID-19 cases, along with four additional deaths.

Mr Foley said the trial will be open to any Victorians 18 years and older and will run for four weeks.

Participants will receive advice via the app at random times regarding their isolation status and will have to respond with a selfie within five minutes.

Should people not respond to the alert within the period of time required, they will receive follow up calls or authorities will carry out home visits.

“It will be an easy and less-fuss way of making sure that people are all doing the right thing, protecting themself and protecting the community,” Mr Foley said.

“This will assist Victorians coming back from both overseas … sooner rather than later as part of the national plan.

The app only uses the selfie and the location at the time that people check in and, as I say, you’ve got five minutes from the alert to provide that advice back.”

The Health Minister also urged those Victorians who choose to participate to “take advantage” of systems in place to provide them with material and financial support during their isolation period.

“This is a voluntary pilot and it’s one that’s been conducted by a number of states as part of the National Cabinet decision to trial alternatives to hotel quarantining,” he said.

New South Wales announced it would launch an at-home quarantine trial from the beginning of October in a “critical step” to move away from hotel quarantine.



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