(News source: published on behalf of GOV.UK)
Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app.
The NHS COVID-19 app will launch on Thursday 24 September in England and Wales, including QR check-in at venues.
- 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 so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.
The move comes ahead of a national launch of the NHS COVID-19 app across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September.
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.
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.
Ongoing trials in Newham, on the Isle of Wight and with NHS Volunteer Responders show the app is highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing to identify contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.