Covid-19 Contact Tracing FAQ

Covid-19 Contact Tracing – Information Sheet


GS1’s role in the Covid-19 contact tracing system, is to provide Global Location Numbers (GLNs) to businesses.

These GLNs will be used to create posters with scannable QR codes. The QR codes will have GLN data encoded. When citizens scan these posters, they can build a list of their visited locations. This location data will only be saved on a person’s phone, to ensure privacy. If a person is affected by Covid-19, they may upload their location data, allowing the Ministry of Health to alert others who have visited the same location.

Who is doing what?

  1. The Ministry of Health (MoH)

MoH is the government department that oversees New Zealand’s health system. MoH is responsible for the development and deployment of the smart phone app. More information can be found on their website They are also taking requests via email to create posters for users who are having difficulty obtaining one through BusinessConnect – see below for details.

  1. Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) GS1 NZ Collaboration

MBIE is responsible for many regulatory services that support New Zealand’s markets and businesses. This includes the New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) Register and Business Connect.



What are they doing

The MBIE NZBN Register provides a registry of New Zealand businesses.


NZBNs uniquely identify businesses and are required to obtain a Covid-19 poster from Business Connect.

BusinessConnect is a digital service that will allow businesses to apply for things like licences and permits from different government agencies in one place.

The Business Connect website will handle the registration for and distribution of Covid-19 contact tracing poster PDFs.

GS1 New Zealand

GS1 New Zealand will automatically issue NZBN entities GLNs, when registering through Business Connect. These GLNs are encoded in the posters’ QR codes.


Businesses need to apply for Covid-19 contact tracing posters from Business Connect and, in the process, agree to GS1 New Zealand’s Affiliate Licence terms and conditions.

Ministry of Health (MoH)

MoH is offering the ability for citizens to email them at to request assistance with printing their QR code posters. Citizens will need to provide contact details in the email and MoH will call them back and request verification, including a form of identification, NZBN and a declaration of authority. Once the required information has been gathered, MoH will email the poster PDF to the citizen, who may then print it.


What are the benefits using GLNs?

The collaboration with MBIE and MOH enables businesses, and people visiting businesses, to easily track their visited locations, while maintaining complete privacy. This has several other benefits:

  • The NZBN and location GLNs are internationally unique standards. Using these helps support the development of New Zealand’s digital infrastructure.
  • GLNs are used globally to support inter-operability of digital message systems and to support goods delivery processes. A single physical location GLN can also be used as a digital identifier.
  • An open standardised approach enables multiple service providers to develop in a marketplace.
  • The link between the NZBN and the location GLN, enhances the system integrity required for robust issue of posters and Covid-19 tracking.

Questions and Answers

A. The GS1 Affiliate Licence Agreement


  1. What is an Affiliate Licence?

An agreement that all NZBN entities must agree to, to obtain Covid-19 GLNs.

The licence does not entitle a business to GS1 NZ membership or associated services.

  1. Do I need to pay licence fees?

No. There are no fees required in this agreement.

  1. Do businesses need to be GS1 members to obtain these posters?

No, although they must be NZBN entities and agree to the GS1 Licence Terms and Conditions.

  1. Why the Licence Terms and Conditions?

GLNs are global ISO standards. To maintain the integrity and value of using this standard, inappropriate use of GLNs needs to be avoided. Only one GLN can used per physical location and they are not transferable between business entities.

  1. What happens when a business accepts the Affiliate Licence Agreement?

The business may obtain a Covid-19 location GLN and they may continue to obtain as many GLNs as needed for Covid-19 contact tracing posters.

  1. Can I cancel the agreement?

Yes. Information will be available on the GS1 New Zealand Website from the 19th of August.


 B. Global Location Numbers (GLNs)


  1. What is a GLN?

The GLN is a 13 digit globally unique number. It can be used by businesses to identify their locations to each other. It is often used in supply chain and logistical processes, ensuring accuracy and effectiveness.

  1. Can GS1 NZ members who have already licenced GLNs, use these for Covid-19 contact tracing posters?

No, a GLN will be issued in process of registering for a Covid-19 poster.

  1. How many GLNs are businesses allowed?

Businesses may obtain as many GLNs as they need for the purpose of identifying their business locations, where they need to place a Covid-19 poster.

  1. Can I transfer my Covid-19 GLNs to another NZBN entity or an individual?

No, Covid-19 GLNs cannot be transferred.  They are associated with the location where the Covid-19 poster is placed.

  1. Can I use the same GLN for multiple physical locations?

No. Only one GLN can be used per location. If you shut down a location, you need to apply for a new Covid-19 GLN for your new location.

  1. Who is issuing these GLNs?

GS1 is issuing these GLNs for physical location.

  1. Will my data be shared with anyone?

GLN details may be shared with the Ministry of Health as part of Covid-19 contact tracing.

  1. Can I use these GLNs for purposes other than Covid-19 contact tracing?

Yes. These GLNs can be used to support digital transactions, such as ship-to electronic messages, so long as the use is associated with the same physical address.


 C. The NZBN and Covid-19 Contact Tracing Poster


  1. Can anyone get a Covid-19 contact tracing poster with a GLN?

While GS1 advises that you acquire an NZBN before applying for a poster, under exceptional circumstances you may apply for a Covid Poster via the Ministry of Health without one.

  1. How do businesses get an NZBN?

To get a free NZBN, go to

  1. How do businesses get Covid-19 contact tracing posters?

All New Zealand Business Number (NZBN) entities can register their physical locations at or

Once, registered a PDF containing the poster will be emailed to you, which you may print.

  1. Can I use my NZBN for a poster, since it’s a GLN?

No. Although the NZBN is a GLN, the NZBN is used as your legal entity identifier for your business and should not be used for physical locations.



GS1 New Zealand 20 May 2020

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