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How Your Business Should Prepare for the NHS Covid-19 App

On Thursday 24th September, the NHS Covid-19 App will be launched: and businesses are being urged by the government to prepare for the launch.

Alongside traditional contact tracing, the app will be used to alert people if they come into contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus. It also allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, and check into venues by scanning a QR code.

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How to Prepare for the Covid-19 App

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are now being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app.

The NHS app is currently being trialled and will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales. This will include QR check-in at venues.

The QR codes will help businesses fulfil the legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.

The government will be encouraging businesses and venues to display the QR codes, and you can create your coronavirus NHS QR code and the corresponding poster by heading to the government website.

QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace in England and NHS Test, Trace, Protect in Wales to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues.

Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry. This is so that customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

You can find out more information here.

Maintaining Records of Staff, Customers and Visitors To Support Test and Trace

Alongside preparing for the NHS app, venues are still legally required to keep recording the contact details of all staff, customers and visitors for Test and Trace.

The Government has updated its requirements to collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors in the following industry sectors:

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in.

This guidance does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers or contractors.

Information to Collect for Test and Trace

The following information should be collected by the venue, where possible:

  • staff
  • the names of staff who work at the premises
  • a contact phone number for each member of staff
  • the dates and times that staff are at work
  • customers and visitors
  • the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group and the number of people in the group
  • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people
  • date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
  • if a customer will interact with only one member of staff (e.g. a hairdresser), the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer

No additional data should be collected for this purpose. In England, people who check-in with the official NHS QR poster do not have to provide their contact details as part of the staff, customer and visitor logs. Find out more information here.

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