The Wokingham Paper

Wokingham businesses urged to download track and trace QR code posters

Picture: NHS Test and Trace

BUSINESSES across the borough are being urged to create an NHS QR code to make it easy for customers to check-in to the national test and trace scheme.

Companies including pubs, restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, cinemas are asked to get and display the QR code ahead of thenew NHS Covid-19 app being launched on Thursday, September 24.

Anybody who downloads the app will be able to check-in at venues easily by scanning the code on their smartphone.

The scheme has been designed to help businesses in the borough meet the legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.

The QR codes will also be available to community venues such as village or church halls.

Cllr Charles Margetts, executive member for Adult Social Care at Wokingham Borough Council said: “Getting the QR code will help businesses keep their customers and staff safe and will be an easy way for them to meet their legal requirement to record contact details.

“It is vital that all businesses keep contact details properly and this scheme will allow them to do so securely.

“I know many businesses have set up their own system but there are huge advantages to the national scheme: businesses will know they are taking details in a secure way and the local understanding of Covid incidents will be better understood.”

After the NHS Covid-19 app launches next week, customers and visitors 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.

With coronavirus cases rising in the borough and across the country in the last few weeks, the council says it is essential businesses capitalise on the benefits QR codes can bring to protect themselves and their customers.

Those who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code.

But an alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, such as a handwritten register.

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 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.

Wokingham Borough Council public health consultant Ingrid Slade said: “The more venues that join this scheme and display the QR codes, the better we will be able track Covid in our community and respond to any local increases — so it is vital that businesses take part.”

Universities, hospitals, leisure premises, community centres and libraries are also asked to join in.

To download a QR code and create a poster, visit: www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

For more information about the NHS COVID-19 app, visit covid19.nhs.uk

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