The app, which went live in England and Wales on September 24, will enable businesses to download dedicated QR codes to print and display within their premises. It allows users to ‘check-in’ to venues such as restaurants, pubs, cinemas, and hairdressers by scanning the QR code on entry.
The time and date of their check-in, as well as the venue identifier, is then stored securely on their smartphone for 21 days.
If the user has been at the same venue at the same time as someone who later tests positive for coronavirus, it will allow Health Protection Teams to anonymously alert anyone who may have come into contact with COVID-19, using the app.
The NHS COVID-19 app enables users to check symptoms, book COVID-19 tests online as well as allowing users to check-in at venues and provide real-time alerts about the coronavirus risk level in a user’s postcode location. Where users are advised to self-isolate, the app displays a countdown timer to help keep track of their self-isolation period.
The use of QR codes will help businesses to meet the new legal requirements in England to record the contact details of visitors to their premises. If businesses are already using their own QR code systems, they are now being encouraged to move to the NHS COVID-19 app QR code process. It is also essential that businesses maintain an alternative check-in method, such as a handwritten register however an alternative digital register is preferred, for visitors who do not have the app. By law, businesses must store these details for 21 days and share them with NHS Test and Trace where requested.
Residents are being encouraged to use the new app to support the NHS Test and Trace service to function more efficiently.
Fylde Council Leader, Cllr Karen Buckley, commented:
“I’ve downloaded the app already and would like to encourage others to do the same. Whatever we can do to combat the spread of coronavirus is welcome and that includes the use of technology. The quicker we are alerted to risk the quicker we can protect each other.”
Businesses are being asked to download their unique QR code poster to display on their premises by going to www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster. Posters should be displayed at all entry points to the venue. Additional advice and information for businesses can be found at www.fylde.gov.uk