Pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, cinemas and other businesses across the borough are being urged to get the NHS QR code that will make it easy for their customers to check-in to the national test and trace scheme.
Getting and displaying the QR code will allow businesses to be ready for the new NHS Covid-19 app being launched on Thursday September 24. Anybody who downloads the app will be able to check-in at venues easily by scanning the QR code.
Downloading and displaying the QR codes will help businesses in the borough meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises. The QR codes will also be available to community venues such as village and church halls.
Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for adult social care said: “Getting the QR code will help businesses keep their customers and staff safe and will be an easy way for them to meet their legal requirement to record contact details.
“It is vital that all businesses keep contact details properly and this scheme will allow them to do so securely. I know many businesses have set up their own system but there are huge advantages to the national scheme: businesses will know they are taking details in a secure way and the local understanding of Covid incidents will be better understood.”
After the NHS Covid-19 app is available on September 24, customers and visitors 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.
With coronavirus cases rising in the borough and across the country 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.
Wokingham Borough Council public health consultant Ingrid Slade said: “The more venues that join this scheme and display the QR codes, the better we will be able to track Covid in our community and respond to any local increases – so it is vital that businesses take part.”
The NHS app has proved effective in ongoing trials in Newham and on the Isle of Wight and with NHS Volunteer Responders showing the app is highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing to identify contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus.
Businesses are just one sector to be urged to use the NHS Test and Trace system. Universities, hospitals, leisure premises, community centres and libraries are also being urged to display posters.
Businesses should download the QR codes at https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster
For more information on the NHS COVID-19 app, visit https://covid19.nhs.uk/