Using Shortcuts to get an automatic prompt to complete a COVID QR-code ‘check in’ at a location

Across Australia, businesses are now required to enable electronic ‘check-in’ for COVID contact tracing and, for the most part, this means part of our “new normal” is scanning QR codes everywhere we go.

However, these ultimately just contain a URL to take you to the right place to check in. I’ve taken advantage of this to use Shortcuts to prompt me when I arrive at some frequently-visited locations, such as work.

That way rather than scanning a code, I can just tap the notification and complete the check-in.

Here’s how:

  1. Firstly, you need to extract the URL from the QR code.
    The quickest way I found to do this was to use this ‘Decode QR’ shortcut and share a photo of the QR code to it. From there you can ‘Copy to Clipboard’ and paste the URL in the next step.

    (If you’re going to be doing this a few times and don’t want QR codes clogging up your camera roll, create a two-step helper shortcut which contains the ‘Scan QR/Bar Code’ and ‘Run Shortcut (Decode QR)’ actions!)

  2. Create a new Shortcut with a single ‘Open URL’ action using the address you extracted in Step 1.

    (You could skip this step and and this directly to the automation, but saving it as its own shortcut means you can trigger other actions at the same time if you want to—like setting one of the new Focus modes in iOS 15, for example.)

  3. On the ‘Automation’ page, create a new personal automation. (I’m using the ‘When I Arrive’ trigger but depending on where you’re going, another trigger, such as Wi-Fi, might be appropriate.)

    Add the ‘Run Shortcut’ action to run the shortcut you’ve created in Step 2, et voilà!

You might need to enable some permissions, but the next time you arrive at the location you’ve selected you should receive a notification which you can tap on to proceed directly to the check-in page.

If you’d rather not receive a notification, you could add the shortcut to your home screen for quicker access instead.


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