Businesses urged to prepare for NHS Covid-19 app

Date published: 13 September 2020


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.

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. QR codes provide an easy and simple way to collect contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system.

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.

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.

Managing Director of the NHS Covid-19 app, Simon Thompson, said: “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.”

Hospitality businesses can now download posters for their premises ahead of the launch of the NHS Covid-19 app. This will allow the public to check-in to venues using the app when it launches.

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.

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