News

Blackpool businesses urged to get ready for the launch of NHS COVID-19 app

Blackpool Council is urging businesses to prepare for the launch of the NHS’s new COVID-19 app.

The app, which will go live in England and Wales on September 24, will enable businesses to download dedicated QR codes to print and display within their premises.

(Businesses are being asked to download their unique QR code poster to display on their premises ahead of 24 September by going to www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster. Posters should be displayed at all entry points to the venue. Additional advice and information for businesses can be found at www.blackpool.gov.uk/Coronavirus)

The app will allow users to ‘check-in’ to venues such as restaurants, pubs, cinemas, and hairdressers by scanning the QR code on entry.

The time and date of their check-in, along with a venue identifier, will then be stored securely on the user’s smartphone for 21 days.

If it is later found that the user has been at the same venue at the same time as someone who later tests positive for coronavirus, it will allow Health Protection Teams in England and Wales to anonymously alert users who may have come into contact with COVID-19, via the app.

The use of QR codes will help businesses to meet the new legal requirement in England to record the contact details of visitors to their premises.

If businesses are already using their own QR code systems, they are now being encouraged to move to the NHS COVID-19 app QR code process, and have a legal obligation to display the official NHS QR code poster. It is also essential that businesses maintain an alternative check-in method, such as a handwritten register, for visitors who do not have the app. By law, businesses must store these details for 21 days and share them with NHS Test and Trace where requested.

As well as allowing users to check-in at venues, the NHS COVID-19 app will enable users to check symptoms, book COVID-19 tests online and will provide real-time alerts about the coronavirus risk level in a user’s postcode location (users provide the first half of their postcode when they initially download the app).

Where users are advised to self-isolate, the app will display a countdown timer to help them keep track of their self-isolation period.

Residents are being encouraged to use the new app when it launches on 24 September to support the NHS Test and Trace service to function more efficiently, whilst also protecting users’ anonymity.

Nobody, including the Government, will know who or where a particular user is - the app is focused on effective tracking of coronavirus and helping to stop the spread.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health for Blackpool Council said: “The introduction of the NHS COVID-19 app will increase the efficiency and scale of the Test and Trace system and further protect the public from the spread of coronavirus.

“We urge all business owners in Blackpool to prepare for the launch of the app on 24 September by downloading their unique QR codes to display on their premises as soon as possible to allow visitors to check-in safely and efficiently from the date of the app launch.

“Only by continuing to work together and playing our part in tackling COVID-19 can we limit the spread and save as many lives as possible. We encourage everyone to participate so we can keep levels of community transmission as low as possible here in Blackpool.”

Businesses are being asked to download their unique QR code poster to display on their premises ahead of 24 September by going to www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster. Posters should be displayed at all entry points to the venue. Additional advice and information for businesses can be found at www.blackpool.gov.uk/Coronavirus

Which venues in England should display the official NHS QR code poster?

If your business or venue falls into one of the sectors or categories that should provide a customer log, then you are also now expected to additionally display an NHS QR code poster at your venue when the app launches nationally. This applies if you provide:

  • hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure services, 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 children’s centres
  • places of worship, including use for events and other community activities

If you have a venue outside of these categories that is visited by members of the public and has a space where people congregate, then we also encourage you to create a QR code poster for the entrance to that venue.

The poster does not replace the requirement for a traditional method for customer logging for the NHS Test and Trace service. This must still be available for visitors without a smartphone or who do not downloaded the app.

Answers to common questions can be found on the NHS website

Useful Links

Create and download a QR code poster here