Council prepares for new COVID-19 app
Residents visiting council buildings will be asked to scan NHS QR code posters from today (24 Sep), in order to comply with new Test and Trace guidelines.Published: Thursday, 24th September 2020
The NHS QR code posters will make it easier for Swindon Borough Council and designated local businesses and organisations to meet their legal duty of logging the details of customers, visitors and staff entering their premises for the NHS Test and Trace service. The new rules became law last Friday (18 Sep).
The Council will continue to offer a manual option for recording visitors’ contact details, for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.
It is vital these measures are in place to allow the NHS Test and Trace service to contact the necessary people if COVID-19 outbreaks are identified in a venue.
Swindon residents can expect to see the NHS QR code posters displayed in the following council-run buildings, among others:
- Civic Offices
- Lydiard Hotel and Conference centre
- Council-run libraries
- Fessey House
- Whitbourne House
- Swindon Register Office
- STEAM Museum
- Wat Tyler West Reception
Information for businesses
Swindon businesses are being urged by the Council to download the NHS QR code posters that work alongside the new NHS Test and Trace app, in order to meet new government requirements.
If a business or venue has a legal requirement to log the details of customers, visitors and staff entering the premises, then they are also now expected to display an NHS QR code poster from today (24 Sep). Businesses should continue to offer customers a manual option in case they do not have access to a smartphone. Premises that need to collect data 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
- Facilities provided by local authorities, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres
- Places of worship, including use for events and other community activities
NHS QR code posters should be displayed at the entrances to venues/buildings, in places that are easy for visitors to see and access. Visitors will then be able to scan the poster with the app on their phone to check-in.
Any businesses or venues that fail to comply, risk facing a fine of up to £1000. Repeat offenders will see fines rise to up to £4000.
Businesses and venues should visit the Government website to create a QR code: www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster
Information for residents
The NHS COVID-19 app will be used by businesses and venues, alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus.
The app will allow users to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning the NHS QR code posters and it helps the NHS trace individuals that may have coronavirus.
The app will protect a user’s anonymity and nobody, including the Government, will know who or where a particular user is.
When a user enters a venue and scans an official NHS QR code poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone. The device will check if users have been at that location at the relevant time and if the app finds a match, users will get an alert anonymously with advice on what to do based on the level of risk.
If individuals choose to check-in using the NHS QR code poster they do not need to log in to a premises via any other route.
For more information visit: www.covid19.nhs.uk/pdf/introducing -the-app.pdf
Councillor Brian Ford, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “It is vital we all do what we can to support the efforts of the NHS Test and Trace service.
“We have been fast to react to the latest government guidance and NHS QR code posters are now on display in all of our customer-facing buildings to work alongside the new NHS Test and Trace app.
“I would like to strongly encourage all local businesses and venues that are required by law to log customer details to do the same in order to protect our local community.”