A new ‘QR code system’ for Test and Trace Has now been launched.
From September 24, businesses must register for an official ‘NHS QR code’ and display the official ‘NHS QR code poster’ in a prominent position in their venue.
Visitors to the QE Stadium will be asked to scan the clubs specific QR code on their mobile or tablet, in order to ‘check in’ to a venue and share their information – instead of writing their contact information on a form or giving their name and phone number to a member of staff.
Alternatively, people can download the “NHS COVID-19 app” which also allows users to ‘check in’ to venues – and receive official messages if there is a coronavirus outbreak at a venue they have visited.
What is a “QR” code?
QR in ‘QR code’ stands for “Quick Response”.
A QR code is a square-shaped Barcode-like image, that is machine-readable and can be scanned on mobile phones and tablets.
Typically, the person who scans a QR code is sent a ‘notification’ (hyperlink) to their phone or tablet inviting them to visit a website, for example to get more information about something mentioned on a poster, form or billboard.
For “Track and Trace,” the QR code will be used so people can give their contact information for the ‘Track and Trace’ government initiative, securely and efficiently.
How do I scan a QR code?
Whether you have an iPhone, an Android phone or a different device, e.g. an iPad or other tablet, scanning a QR code is simple.
You do not usually need a separate app – you can just use the camera on your phone or other device.
Open your camera on your device, hold it in front of the QR code as if you are going to take a photo, and just hold your phone still for a few seconds.
Your phone should scan the code and a little ‘notification’ box should appear.
Click on this box to be taken to a page to enter and confirm your details.
If this does not work, check you have clicked ‘enable QR code scanning’ in your phone/device settings.
Alternatively, if you have ‘SnapChat’, you should be able to scan the QR code through that, or you can download a QR scanner/code-reader from your phone or device’s app store.
How will the QR code system work?
According to the government, the QR code system will help NHS Test and Trace let people know if they have been exposed to Coronavirus.
People will scan the code on their smart-phone or other device and be asked to input their information for ‘Track and Trace’.
Alternatively, people can use the NHS COVID-19 app and QR code to ‘check in’ to a site.
An update on the government’s website says: “By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and displaying an official NHS QR poster, [businesses] will help NHS Test and Trace to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the virus.
“The NHS COVID-19 app has a feature that allows users to quickly and easily ‘check in’ to [a] venue by scanning the code. The information stays on the user’s phone.
“In England, [businesses] do not have to ask people who choose to ‘check in’ using the official NHS QR code to provide their contact details. If there is an outbreak associated with a venue, a message will be sent to the relevant app users with the necessary public health advice.”
When should I scan the code?
You should scan the code when you are given/pointed to it, this may be when you enter a venue or when you place an order.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Businesses should collect this [Track and Trace] information in a way that is manageable for their 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.”
What happens if you do not have a smart-phone?
If you don’t have a smart-phone or other device that scans QR codes – don’t panic.
While it is mandatory that every business has a QR code for people to scan, the ‘paper record’ system will be permitted – providing it is kept out of public sight.
“If somebody doesn’t have a smartphone then the business needs to offer an alternative, which could be a digital or paper system.
“[The information] should be recorded digitally if possible, but a paper record is acceptable too. If businesses are keeping a paper record, this should be kept out of public sight for a period of 21 days.
“Some systems might have digital elements, however businesses must ensure that there is a manual option for people without smartphones.”