New Government Covid regulations come into force for businesses and venues

New Government regulations have come into force today to ensure businesses continue to be Covid compliant by following the Rule of Six and maintaining social distancing between customers.

The new rules will mean certain businesses and organisations, including hospitality, leisure and tourism venues, close contact services, places of worship and local authority venues and facilities, will be legally required to log details of customers, visitors and staff for NHS Test and Trace.

From Thursday 24 September, they will also be required to display official NHS QR code posters ahead of the NHS COVID-19 Test and Trace app being rolled out nationally next week.

The app will enable people to ‘check in’ when they visit a business or venue by scanning a QR code displayed on posters at the entrance. The app then informs visitors if they may have come into contact with someone who later tests positive for Coronavirus through an alert. The alert will not name the venue.

Alison Challenger, Director of Public Health for Nottingham City Council, said: “We know businesses and venues across the city – from pubs, bars and restaurants to hairdressers, cinemas and gyms – have been working hard to put in place the necessary measures to ensure their customers are safe during the pandemic.”

“However the new rules introduced today mean businesses and venues now have a legal responsibility to take certain steps including creating and displaying a QR code so that the new NHS Test and Trace app is as effective as possible in stopping the spread of Covid.

“We will work with businesses to provide all the help and support we can to inform and enable them to meet their responsibilities but will need to take the appropriate enforcement action if they fail to do this.”

The new COVID-19 app will enable people in England to check-in on entry using their phone instead of filling out a check-in book specific to a business.

When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information is logged on the user’s phone. This information then stays on a user’s phone for 21 days and will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak identified at the venue. It will also help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.

Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being asked to switch to the NHS QR code, while maintaining an alternative check-in method to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app. This information will also be kept for 21 days in line with data protection requirements.

Further details and instructions on how to create a poster are available on the government information website at https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

People with Covid symptoms are urged to self-isolate and get a test. Symptoms include a fever, a new continuous cough, or loss of sense of taste or smell. Call 119 to book your free test or visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

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