Pubs urged to prepare for NHS app launch

By Emily Hawkins

- Last updated on GMT

Launching this month: the NHS Covid-19 app will involve customers checking-in at venues by scanning QR codes
Launching this month: the NHS Covid-19 app will involve customers checking-in at venues by scanning QR codes

Related tags Coronavirus Nhs Technology Health and safety Branding + marketing

Pubs have been encouraged to prepare for the nationwide launch of the NHS Covid-19 app this month.

The app will mean customers can check-in to venues with QR codes and NHS contact-tracers will be able to contact multiple people if Covid-19 outbreaks are identified.

Pubs and bars have been told to ensure they have QR code posters visible on entry ahead of the app’s launch across England and Wales on Thursday 24 September.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the app’s launch would be a “defining moment” for the nation in controlling the spread of coronavirus.

Simple and easy

Hancock explained: “It is vital we are using the NHS Test and Trace system to reach as many people as possible to prevent outbreaks and stop this virus in its tracks.

"This function will make it simple and easy so we can keep this virus under control.”

The codes can be created and downloaded on the Government's website.

How do the codes work?

A customer will scan a QR poster when they enter a pub and the venue’s information will be logged on their app.

This will stay on the user’s phone for 21 days and if during that time a Covid-19 outbreak is identified at a location, the venue ID in question will be sent to all devices. 

The app 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.

The Government has said using the codes will help pubs meet new requirements for English pubs to record the contact details of visitors.

Everyone's responsibility 

Alternative check-in methods should be maintained to collect the details of customers who do not have the app but pubs were encouraged to switch existing QR code systems to the NHS’s.

Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality CEO, urged pubs and bars to download the posters and support the app’s launch.

She said: “Hospitality has been at the forefront of Test and Trace, so we were keen to work closely with government to optimise the app’s functionality and ease of implementation for hospitality businesses. It is everyone’s responsibility – and in everyone’s interest – to make Test and Trace work, so we look forward to its national rollout.”

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