Staff do not have to ask to see app check-ins

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Test and Trace: pub staff do not have to check a customer's phone to ensure they have scanned a QR code for contact-tracing purposes (image: Getty/ Koonsiri Boonnak)
Test and Trace: pub staff do not have to check a customer's phone to ensure they have scanned a QR code for contact-tracing purposes (image: Getty/ Koonsiri Boonnak)

Related tags: Coronavirus, Legislation, Health and safety, lockdown, Beer, Nhs

Pub staff do not have to ask customers to show their phone screens to prove they have checked into the venue via the NHS app, it has been confirmed.

Operators had said they were left confused over conflicting messages surrounding whether or not staff had to ask customers to prove they had signed in.

It had been reported in the mainstream press that pub employees would have to ask customers to show their successful check-in, with complaints of added pressure and costs for pubs. 

Pub goers can use the NHS coronavirus app to check into a venue via scanning a QR code, to meet the requirement for pubs to gather contact details for Test and Trace.

However, staff do not have to check customers’ phone screens to ensure they have correctly signed in via the app, the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed to The Morning Advertiser.

Staff must satisfy themselves that customers have registered successfully but this can be done by asking individuals.

Updated guidance

In a change of policy​, pubs must now gather details from all customers in group bookings rather than just one lead booker’s details. 

An update to the app was supposed to include a new feature that would have allowed users with a positive Covid test result to to upload the list of all venues they had checked in to using a QR code.

However, Apple and Google have explicitly prohibited this form of location tracking on privacy grounds over fears public health authorities could use it to collect location data.

There will be new posters displaying QR codes for pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues in England. All hospitality venues in England will be legally required to display an official NHS QR code poster.

One operator argued that the change in policy to require every member of a booking party to register details singled the trade out as a “villain”​.

In an opinion piece for The Morning Advertiser​, Gav Young of the Plough and Barleycorn in the Isle of Wight Test and Trace had “cost a fortune and been a disaster”.

Related topics: Health & safety

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