Authorities urge public transport users to register details in bid to help Victorian Covid-19 contact tracers

More than 40,000 Victorians have registered their myki cards in a week after it was revealed passengers had been travelling on public transport without a registered card.

It’s caused headaches for Covid-19 contact tracers trying to track down positive cases as the number of exposure sites involving public transport routes skips beyond 20.

The Department of Transport rolled out an incentive scheme on July 12 where the first 60,000 people to register their myki cards would cash in with a $10 boost to their myki balance.

As of 9am on Tuesday, 40,879 people had signed up – a more than 200 per cent week-on-week increase for registrations.

Authorities urge public transport users to register details in bid to help Victorian Covid-19 contact tracers

Camera IconMore than 40,000 Victorians have registered their myki cards in a week. NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

But the department is hoping for more in a bid to further assist the state’s contact tracing capabilities as Victoria grapples with a growing outbreak and extension of strict lockdown measures.

The Department of Health will ask for a myki card number when interviewing a Covid-19 positive case and if that person had travelled on public transport.

“Having these details means the Department of Transport can locate exact travel patterns and alert other passengers travelling on those services within hours,” a spokesperson said.

“However, with many passengers either not touching on or using a registered myki, it has been difficult for contact tracers to identify the exact service and time.”

Authorities urge public transport users to register details in bid to help Victorian Covid-19 contact tracers

Camera IconMyki card data is crucial for Covid-19 contact tracers. Credit: Supplied

Last week only 48 per cent of all touch-on’s across the state’s public transport network used a registered myki.

Department of Transport head of transport services Nick Foa urged passengers to do the right thing.

“It has never been more critical for people to register their mykis so contract tracers can identify and contact passengers in just a couple of hours when a public transport service or location becomes an exposure site,” he said.

“We’re using every tool available to keep passengers safe, support the Department of Health’s contact tracing efforts and help stop the spread of Covid-19.”

Authorities urge public transport users to register details in bid to help Victorian Covid-19 contact tracers

Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews says the state is not ready to lift lockdown. NCA NewsWire / Luis Ascui Credit: News Corp Australia

The $10 payment will be automatically added to accounts once an eligible cardholder registers with the Department of Transport.

Victoria’s five-day snap lockdown will be extended beyond 11.59pm on Tuesday, with the Premier set to brief the media later on Tuesday on further details.

On Monday he warned Victoria was not “ready” for restrictions to ease after recording 16 locally acquired infections.

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