General Manager of Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre John Raut.

Pictured: General Manager of Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre John Raut.

16 March 2021

For General Manager of Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre John Raut, the Check In CBR App has played a “huge” part in keeping his business open and safe.

The popular centre was forced to close for nine months from mid-March last year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure resulted in the loss of $1.5 million in revenue and around $200,000 in damages.

“When we closed, we couldn’t afford to keep the ice frozen the whole time because it would have meant large energy bills, so the rink melted completely,” John said.

“Because the drainage points had been concreted over, the water just seeped through and went into the insulation – so we didn’t get any time off in those nine months because we had to rebuild the ice floor and fix the insulation.”

The new-look rink and pool reopened in December, with the Check In CBR app ensuring a safe return.

“It’s a great app, really quick and easy to use – and we’ve found the majority of our patrons have embraced it wholeheartedly,” John said.

“For the older patrons who may not use smartphones, we have been able to check in on their behalf using the business check in or show them how to download the app.”

The Check In CBR app is now mandatory at most Canberra businesses, venues and facilities, including cafés, restaurants, clubs, beauty salons, hairdressers, adult services, swimming pools, fitness centres, cultural institutions, gaming and gambling venues and entertainment venues, among others.

A new business profile has also been developed for the app to enable patrons who don’t have a smartphone to be checked in by the venue on their behalf, removing the need for pen and paper records.

So  far more than 8,000 businesses and venues have registered with the app and more than 396,000 people have downloaded the app. Information on the app will only be accessed if needed for contact tracing, and information will be deleted after 28 days.

After running his business for 41 years, John couldn’t imagine closing again and is hopeful Canberrans will continue to embrace the app.

“It only takes one case and we’re back to square one,” he said.

“We can’t afford that, we’d go broke. That’s why it’s been so important to be vigilant. We’ve had new patrons come through since reopening who have picked up ice skating or swimming in their spare time since no-one is travelling or going overseas, so we’re slowly picking up business. It feels good to be up and running again.”

Businesses can register with the app via www.covid19.act.gov.au/business-and-work/check-in-cbr

Woden, Weston Creek & Molonglo

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