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MyGov versus the Service Victoria app

My experience adding my COVID-19 vaccination digital certificate to the Service Victoria app on an Android phone. It took a few goes.

As COVID-19 vaccination rates rise across Australia, moves are afoot to slowly end lockdowns and ease the restrictions that have made our lives so difficult for the past two years. To facilitate this in Victoria, the Service Victoria app has been updated and now allows users to connect to MyGov and Medicare to retrieve their vaccination certificate so that it can be produced on demand (if required) when scanning-in at venues.

To do this, users need the latest version of the Service Victoria app, a working MyGov account and a smartphone.

My experience shows that success also appears to be dependent upon the users’ browser preferences too, which is not good. I have documented my experience, but you may want to skip down to How I Got it Working.

Specs

To complete this task, I was using a Samsung Galaxy S10, model SM-G973F running Android 11. My default browser is Mozilla Firefox 93.1.0. Play store had automatically updated my Service Victoria version to the latest 1.14.0-2589-citizen.

I have a MyGov account with Medicare linked but do not run the Express Plus Medicare app.

Internet access was on 100 Mbps NBN (literally!), supplied via 5GHz wifi.

The Experience

Following the official instructions, I logged-in to the Service Victoria app and noticed a new invitation to connect my vaccination certificate to the app via MyGov, so I clicked it. This launched Firefox at the usual MyGov page. I logged-on to MyGov and clicked through to Medicare via the “Proof of COVID-19 vaccination” link.

Things stalled:

The Medicare website in MyGov was very slow to load.

After quite some time, a link loaded and I was able to navigate my way to my COVID-19 vaccination certificate and choose “Share with check in app”. But when I did this, my browser did not like it at all and failed to recognise the presence of the app.

The MyGov website and Service Victoria app not talking to each other.

Firefox redirected to the Service Victoria website which suggested that I needed to install the app, despite it being right there on my phone. Curiously, it also told me that a pop-up had been blocked, so I allowed the pop-up and nothing happened.

The Service Victoria app showed that no certificate was installed.

Confirmation in the Service Victoria app that the certificate upload didn’t work.

Yet Medicare on MyGov was convinced that the job was done.

Medicare in MyGov showing that my COVID-19 vaccination certificate had been sent to the Service Victoria app.

I had a sneaking suspicion that the browser was at fault but I wanted to try again. Things only got worse.

The Medicare MyGov website showing that “Medicare online accounts are currently unavailable”.

How I got it working

I restarted the phone and opened Service Victoria again and clicked on “Add certificate via MyGov”. This time I decided to use the Chrome browser (version 94.0.4606.71) to access MyGov instead of Firefox. Again, I had to wait some time to get things loaded.

Loading the Medicare website in MyGov on Chrome. The website was very slow to load.

I again selected “Share with check-in app” and chose Service Victoria, but noticed that Service Victoria was already listed as having been shared. I ignored this and clicked “Share again”. Clearly the “apps you’ve shared with” records attempts but does not verify results.

The Medicare MyGov site showed that I had shared my certificate with Service Victoria when it hadn’t worked. I ignored this. The site lagged throughout.

After clicking on “Share Again”, I had another confirmation.

Chrome also blocked the pop-up from Medicare MyGov

I noticed that Chrome had also blocked the pop-up in the same manner as Firefox. So I clicked on “Always show” but this time I was presented with options.

MyGov asking whether I wanted to open my certificate from Service Victoria or Firefox.

Despite coming from Chrome, I was asked whether I wanted to open the certificate with Service Victoria or Firefox, so I chose Service Victoria. This time I received a more promising result from the Service Victoria app.

The Service Victoria app ready to add my COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

I selected “Add certificate” in the app and the job was done.

The Service Victoria app showing my valid COVID-19 certificate.

In the end, it seems that MyGov and/or service Victoria cannot work with Firefox on Android.

I am quite familiar with computers and devices and some experience plus a good hunch allowed me to figure this out. I fear for the majority for whom this would all be too hard.

   

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