Here in the province of Ontar-i-ar-i-ar-io, there’s been talk for some time about the arrival of a QR code enabled Covid Passport. Makes sense. Well, it finally happened and the government put out advice that it’s available. So I followed the link provided in the news story I was reading to get mine, but I found no link from the government about where to go to get the passport. Essentially, they said, well it’s here and it will make life easier. Yeah… well, sure…OK… but where is it ? And how do I get it? Nothing.
Don’t you think that’s important information for us lowly peons to know?
I guess some bright lass or laddie realized their deficiency and a second message came along, starting the same way – “isn’t this great” – but ending with a link to a site that could actually provide you with your QR code passport. I followed along and was able to download mine to my phone. Hurrah!!
Now, we move along to last night where a friend and I were going to attend a jazz concert in one of the nearby towns, planning to have dinner first at a restaurant nearby the venue. We proffered our phones to the welcoming host, showing the QR code as the government website had instructed us to do, only to find her response, “Oh, sorry, you’ll have to show us your paper version, plus your ID. We don’t have any means of using a scanned code.” Fortunately, we’d both brought paper backups just in case, but it’s a hassle over merely showing your phone.
Once we’d settled at a table, I waved the resto owner over and said, “Just curious: why is your staff unable to scan our QR code passports? Isn’t that the point of the whole thing?” “I‘m sure it is,” he replied, “but no one from the government has told us how to work with this. I’m hearing from the rumor mill that you need some special software or a special scanner or something, but we haven’t heard the first thing about it. So, we have to rely on the ‘olde’ method of checking your paper passport. Sorry.” Yeah… well, sure…OK…
But then, didn’t this exact same thing happen at the venue staging the concert! They were unable to use our QR codes as well, and asked for the paper passport version. Same response: “Yeah, we hear you need a special scanner or some special software or something, but no one from the government has given us a thing.”
All of which leaves me asking: If the government is going to make a big deal out of having these “virtual passports”, then why would they not complete the process and make it real? Right now, it just feels inadequate and sloppy, like a fraud and a waste of time for all involved.