QR codes appear in town as part of new NHS COVID-19 app launch
Businesses must comply with legal requirements as part of new arm of track and trace
From today a new NHS COVID-19 app is being launched and Cherwell District Council has sent a message to local businesses to make sure they are ready.
The new app will be used, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus. Users of the app will be able to check into venues by scanning a QR code. Once done the system will provide an alert if a person has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. It also helps them check if they have symptoms and book a test.
It is a legal requirement from today for all designated venues to display an official NHS QR poster. Designated venues include hospitality services (including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés), tourism and leisure services (including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks), close contact services (including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors) and facilities provided by local authorities (such as town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres).
Other venues which are visited by members of the public and have spaces where people congregate, are also being encouraged to use an official NHS QR poster.
Businesses can create and print their own unique QR code poster in a simple process on the www.gov.uk website.
Addressing local businesses Banbury and District Chamber of Commerce said, “By supporting the official NHS QR code poster system, you’ll be protecting your visitors and your business. You will help to slow the spread of the virus, reduce the impact of any second wave, and help normal life to resume more quickly.
“We recognise this has been a very difficult time for businesses, with lots of changes for you to manage. Your support with this important scheme is greatly appreciated”.
Councillor Lynn Pratt , Cherwell District Council’s lead member for economy, regeneration and property, said: “The NHS COVID-19 app is there to help venues with the contact tracing which they have been undertaking since the local economy started to reopen.
“The app allows businesses, like pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, to display a QR code and uniquely link it to their business. It means they don’t need to store details from customers who use the app, meaning less of a burden on individual businesses, and greater privacy for customers.
“The app is also highly recommended to people using our council-owned leisure centres in Banbury, Bicester, and Kidlington, where they will see the NHS QR posters displayed.
“Along with wearing face masks, observing the rule of six, handwashing and social distancing, this app is another important part of the jigsaw which will enable people to enjoy our high streets safely and support the recovery of the hospitality sector.”
Members of the public are being asked to download the app before heading to a venue so they can get used to the process and be ready when asked to scan a code.
Collecting details and maintaining records for NHS Test and Trace is now a legal requirement for the businesses, and failure to comply could result in a fine.
For those who do not have a smart phone, businesses have been told to keep a paper record of details so they can be contacted should they need to be.