Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across the Marches are being urged to prepare for the launch of a new NHS COVID-19 app to support NHS Test and Trace.
The NHS COVID-19 app is currently being trialled and will launch on September 24 in England and Wales, and will see customers having to check-in via QR codes displayed at business premises.
The government will be supporting businesses and venues to display the QR codes, which can be downloaded via a website to display as posters in premises.
Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.
In England, using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.
With coronavirus cases rising in the UK in the last few weeks it is essential businesses capitalise on the benefits QR codes can bring to protect themselves and their customers.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We need to use every tool at our disposal to control the spread of the virus including cutting-edge technology. The launch of the app later this month across England and Wales is a defining moment and will aid our ability to contain the virus at a critical time.”
Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example a handwritten register.
When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone. This information will stay on a user’s phone for 21 days and if during that time a coronavirus outbreak is identified at a location, the venue ID in question will be sent to all devices. The device will check if users have been at that location and if the app finds a match, users may get an alert with advice on what to do based on the level of risk.
Managing Director of the NHS COVID-19 app, Simon Thompson, said: “We are now giving businesses the time to prepare their venues ahead of the app becoming available across England and Wales. We are working closely to engage, educate and inform them about how the app works and how they can play their part.
The QR system is a free, easy and privacy preserving way to check
-in customers to venues, and we encourage all businesses to get involved and download and display the official NHS QR code posters.”
Businesses should download the QR codes at gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster.
For more information on the NHS COVID-19 app, visit covid19.nhs.uk.