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Businesses asked to download QR codes for new Covid-19 app

Peterborough businesses are being urged to support the Test and Trace programme ahead of the launch of the government's Covid-19 app on September 24.
Test and Trace measures are prominent at locations in Peterborough - but the launch of the government app should make it easier for customers and venues (Photo: Martyn Moore)

From Friday, September 18, it became mandatory for venues such as pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas to collect and record details of customers who visit their sites. Fines can be issued to any business that does not adhere to this guidance.

The launch of the new NHS Covid-19 app on September 24 will allow customers to scan a QR code with their smart-phone to register their attendance at specific venues. By downloading and displaying the QR code poster, compliance with Test and Trace, as well as GDPR legislation, is as easy as possible for businesses.

Dr Liz Robin, director of public health for Peterborough City Council, said: "Cases of coronavirus are rising in Peterborough and the area remains an area of concern on the Government’s watch list. We have so far avoided a local lockdown, but we can only do this if people follow the guidance and take sensible steps to keep themselves and their loved ones, staff and customers safe.

"So, I am urging relevant businesses to support the NHS Test and Trace programme and keep a record of anyone who visits their venue – customers, staff and visitors – for 21 days from the date of a person’s visit, until further notice. Please be proactive in seeking this information and don’t simply relying on people providing their information without encouragement.

"We would like to avoid at all costs a situation where a Peterborough business is forced to close due to a significant outbreak, or a local lockdown arrangement is imposed as we have seen happen elsewhere. Our businesses can help us to avoid further disruption to all our lives by working with NHS Test and Trace to reduce transmission of the virus."

This week, Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the launch of the app as a "defining moment" and said that the "cutting-edge technology" will help to contain the virus.

Simon Thompson, managing director of the NHS Covid-19 app, said: "My team have worked tirelessly to develop the new NHS Covid-19 app and we are incredibly grateful to all residents of the Isle of Wight, London Borough of Newham, NHS Volunteer Responders and the team that went before us; the learnings and insight have made the app what it is today.

"We are now giving businesses the time to prepare their venues ahead of the app becoming available across England and Wales. We are working closely to engage, educate and inform them about how the app works and how they can play their part.

"The QR system is a free, easy and privacy-preserving way to check in customers to venues, and we encourage all businesses to get involved and download and display the official NHS QR code posters."

Posters for premises are available to download now via the NHS app support website.