Lockdown is easing – don’t forget to check in with NHS QR codes to protect everyone
Published: Friday, 14 May, 2021
As lockdown measures ease further next week NHS QR codes must still be displayed by venues, and used by customers to check in.
To ensure we are all safe when visiting hospitality services, shops, tourism services, close contact business and community centres, businesses must display the official NHS QR code poster.
The NHS QR code poster collects contact details for NHS Test and Trace and is a legal requirement for organisations in these categories. If a customer or visitor checks in by scanning the NHS QR code, they won’t need to complete the customer log.
If your business or venue falls into one of the sectors or categories that should provide a customer log, then you must display an NHS QR code poster at your venue. This applies if you provide:
- hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
- tourism and leisure services, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
- close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors (including mobile close contact businesses)
- community centres, libraries and village halls
“It’s important that we all follow the rules and keep each other safe – we have got this far after a really tough year for everyone,” said Lotte Lyster Connolly, landlady of The Prince Albert pub in Rodborough. “We have a QR code displayed prominently at the entrance and for those who don’t want to use the app, we will take their details, pop them in an envelope, store them securely then shred them after 21 days.”
Venues not included in these categories but which have an indoor space where people may congregate are encouraged to create a QR code poster to display the entrance to that venue.
“By supporting the official NHS QR code poster system, you'll be helping to protect your visitors and your business,” said Labour group leader Doina Cornell. “You will help to slow the spread of the virus and help normal life to resume more quickly.
What steps your business should take once the QR poster is up:
- Ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to check in to your venue or provide their contact details. This can be done quickly and easily using the NHS COVID-19 app to scan in the NHS QR code poster.
- Have a system in place to ensure that you can collect information from your customers and visitors who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app. You must keep this data for 21 days and provide it to NHS Test and Trace if they ask for it.
As a business that takes bookings you may already have systems for recording this information. This includes close contact services. Your existing systems may be an effective means of collecting contact details. Any business that is found not to be compliant with these requirements will be subject to financial penalties.
Also, you may not be aware that there have been some important changes to the rules, they are as follows:
- It is no longer just the lead member of the group that needs to sign in, but every adult in the party over 16 must sign in individually.
- Under 16s are exempt from needing to sign into track and trace
- You must refuse entry to your premises if a customer refuses to sign in for track and trace. So you need to be prepared and have system in place to refuse service to persons who will not engage in the process.
Display the official NHS QR code poster. Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.