The UK is currently experiencing a public health emergency as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is therefore critical that organisations take a range of measures to keep everyone safe.
The easing of social and economic lockdown measures following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers and visitors for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. As part of this, organisations should also ensure that official NHS QR code posters are available for visitors to use at their venues. Doing this can help contain clusters or outbreaks.
This publication provides further guidance on how you can do this in a proportionate and effective way.
NHS Test and Trace
NHS Test and Trace is a key part of the countrys ongoing COVID-19 response. If we can rapidly detect people who have recently come into close contact with a new COVID-19 case, we can take swift action to minimise transmission of the virus. This is important as lockdown measures are eased and will help us return to a more normal way of life and reduce the risk of needing local lockdowns in the future.
NHS Test and Trace includes dedicated contact tracing staff working at national level under the supervision of Public Health England (PHE) and local public health experts who manage more complex cases. Local public health experts include both PHE health protection teams and local authority public health staff.
You can read further information on how NHS Test and Trace works.
The purpose of maintaining records and displaying an official NHS QR poster
By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you can help NHS Test and Trace to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the virus.
If you have registered for an official NHS QR code and are displaying the official NHS QR poster, the NHS COVID-19 app has a feature which allows users to check-in to your venue by scanning the code. This is a secure way for individuals to check-in as the details stay on the persons phone. In England, people who check-in do not have to provide their contact details as part of the staff, customer and visitor logs.
Containing outbreaks early is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect the NHS and social care sector, and save lives. This will help to avoid the reintroduction of lockdown measures and support the country to return to, and maintain, a more normal way of life.
You can play a significant role in helping your staff, customers and visitors understand the importance of NHS Test and Trace and play their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Please do this by explaining why you are asking for contact information or why you are displaying the official NHS QR poster, and encouraging them to provide details or check-in.
In addition to maintaining and sharing records where requested and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you must also continue to follow other government guidance to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. This includes maintaining asafe working environmentand followingsocial distancing guidelines.
Sectors that this guidance applies to
There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a longer time in one place and potentially come into close contact with other people outside of their household. To manage this risk, establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, should collect details and maintain records of staff, customers and visitors:
- hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafs
- tourism and leisure, 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 childrens centres
- places of worship, including use for events and other community activities
This guidance applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in.
This guidance does not apply to drop-off deliveries made by suppliers or contractors.
Information to collect
The following information should be collected by the venue, where possible:
- the names of staff who work at the premises
- a contact phone number for each member of staff
- the dates and times that staff are at work
- customers and visitors
- the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the lead member of the group and the number of people in the group
- a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people
- date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
- if a customer will interact with only one member of staff (e.g. a hairdresser), the name of the assigned staff member should be recorded alongside the name of the customer
No additional data should be collected for this purpose. In England, people who check-in with the official NHS QR poster do not have to provide their contact details as part of the staff, customer and visitor logs.
Many organisations that routinely take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, more organisations are planning to implement an advanced booking only service to manage the numbers of people on the premises. These booking systems can serve as the source of the information that you need to collect.
You should collect this information in a way that is manageable for your establishment. If not collected in advance, this information should be collected at the point that visitors enter the premises, or at the point of service if impractical to do so at the entrance. It should be recorded digitally if possible, but a paper record is acceptable too.
Recording both arrival and departure times (or estimated departure times) will help reduce the number of customers or staff needing to be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. We recognise, however, that recording departure times will not always be practicable.
If someone does not wish to share their details, provides incorrect information or chooses not to scan the NHS QR code
Although this is voluntary, please encourage customers and visitors to share their details or scan the official NHS QR poster in order to support NHS Test and Trace and advise them that this information will only be used where necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
If a customer or visitor informs you that they do not want their details shared for the purposes of NHS Test and Trace, they can choose to opt out, and if they do so you should not share their information used for booking purposes with NHS Test and Trace.
The accuracy of the information provided will be the responsibility of the individual who provides it. You do not have to verify an individuals identity for NHS Test and Trace purposes.
Displaying an official NHS QR poster
Organisations should display official NHS QR code posters at their venue entrances to help support contact tracing.Its quick and simple to use for both businesses and users. Ask visitors to scan the QR code when they arrive, using the NHS COVID-19 app. This is to help trace and stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Organisations should still maintain an alternative means to maintain contact details for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.
Official NHS QR posters can be generated online.
Organisations can find out more about NHS QR codes and how to generate them on the NHS COVID-19 app website.
How records should be maintained
To support NHS Test and Trace, you should hold records for 21 days. This reflects the incubation period for COVID-19 (which can be