NHS COVID-19 app

The Government has now launched its NHS COVID-19 app to support NHS Test and Trace. The app will help to prevent the spread of coronavirus by:

  • Helping to identify people who’ve been in recent close contact with someone who’s tested positive for coronavirus – including people they may not personally know.
  • Enabling people to scan a unique QR code to ‘check-in’ to a venue – e.g. a shop, restaurant or close contact services such as hair salons.

All local businesses and venues – including shops, voluntary organisations and places of worship - are asked to download and display their own unique QR posters.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, the app will use QR ‘check-in’ data to automatically alert people they’ve been in recent close contact with by sending a notification straight to their mobile phone asking them to self-isolate.

Notifications to NHS COVID-19 app users will not mention the name of your venue, just that the app user has recently been to a venue where they may have come into contact with the coronavirus.

Legal requirements and enforcement

The Government have announced that it is a legal requirement for all businesses and venues in the following sectors to display a QR poster:

  • Hospitality, such as restaurants, hotels and bars
  • Leisure and tourism, such as gyms, museums and cinemas
  • Close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons
  • Local authority venues, such as libraries and children’s centres

If you are unsure whether your businesses falls into any of these categories, you can find a complete list of affected venues at GOV.UK

Failure to display a poster and offer a manual option to record customer details could result in fixed penalty notice of £500 within the first 14 days and £1000 thereafter, doubling for a second offence and prosecutable after 28 days for non-payment.

How to create a free QR poster for your business or venue

  • Go to: GOV.UK and register your details including your name and email address.
  • Enter the verification code sent to your email address into the web form and follow the instructions adding contact details for the person responsible for the venue.
  • Once you have confirmed your details are correct you can download your venue’s QR poster. You will need to print copies for every entrance of your venue. If you have more than one venue, you will need a separate QR poster for each.

If your customers or visitors check-in using your NHS QR poster then they do not need to provide any further test and trace details to your staff. However, it is important that you continue to offer a manual option for recording visitor’s contact details for those without a smartphone or the app. If you need any additional support printing your unique QR poster then please call us on 020 7974 4444 and we can help.

 

10pm curfews and your legal requirement to enforce the rule of six

The Government has also introduced a nationwide restriction requiring pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm. If you own a pub, bar or restaurant, you must offer table service or takeaway only and ensure that:

  • No table bookings are accepted for a group of more than six people.
  • No visitors are admitted to your premises in a group of more than six.
  • No person in one group of six mingles with another group of six.

In addition, there must be an appropriate distance of two metres maintained between tables of six, or one metre if you have screens in place between tables.

Failure to follow these rules may result in a fixed penalty notice of £1,000. Government legislation allows this to be doubled to £4,000 for subsequent offences.

 

Legal changes to COVID-secure workplace rules

As of Monday 28 September, it will also become a legal obligation make sure your business is COVID-secure. The Government have released simplified guidance to help you understand what steps are required to become COVID-secure at GOV.UK to help ensure your premises is compliant.

All staff working in retail and hospitality must also wear a face covering. If you own a pub, bar or restaurant, customers should also wear face coverings when they are not seated at tables. Failure to make your business COVID-secure or ensure staff are wearing a face covering can result in a fixed penalty notice.