Businesses urged to sign up for NHS COVID-19 app

Release Date: 17 September 2020

Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across the borough are being urged to download QR (Quick Response) codes to prepare for public rollout of the new NHS COVID-19 app.

Last week the Government announced that a new app which aims to support the NHS Test and Trace programme in England will be launched on Thursday 24 September.

The app will enable people to:

  • Receive alerts if they have been near other app users who have tested positive for coronavirus
  • Let people know the current level of coronavirus in their postcode
  • 'Check in' at venues and receive alerts if they have visited a venue where they may have come into contact with coronavirus
  • Check their symptoms and order a free test
  • Book a test
  • Keep a track of their self-isolation

To enable the system to work, businesses like churches, community buildings, pubs, bars, barbers and restaurants, are being urged to ensure they have an NHS QR code poster visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

The posters are personalised for each business.

Cllr Richard Baker, Spokesperson for Economics and Business at Richmond Council, said:

"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 new app is a welcome step forward. However it will only work if everyone downloads the app and hospitality businesses display their relevant QR code.

"When the app launches, customers and visitors in local businesses will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak.

"If you are a local relevant business, go online now and print off your poster.”

When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone. This information will stay on a user’s phone for 21 days and if during that time a coronavirus outbreak is identified at a location, the venue ID in question will be sent to all devices. The device 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.

If you are a business, download your QR code now for your venue.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P370/20

Updated: 30 September 2020