The new NHS Test and Trace launched on 28 May 2020.
Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be contacted by the service and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This could include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or within 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to stop unknowingly spreading the virus.
NHS Test and Trace QR codes – Advice for GP practices
Venues can read more FAQs on the COVID-19 app website
The NHS COVID-19 app has a check-in feature which enables a venue to register for an official NHS QR code and allows users to ‘check-in’ to participating venues on their app by scanning that code. The information stays on the user’s phone.
These QR code posters are a quick, simple and secure way for visitors to ‘check-in’ to your venue(s) using the app. If they ‘check-in’ using the app then venues in England do not need to collect those visitors’ details.
By ‘checking-in’, app users will have a digital diary on their phones of the venues they have been to which can support discussions with contact tracers if they become ill with coronavirus. It also means that important public health messages can be sent to relevant app users’ phones if needed. Venues will not be named in any messages.
Venues in England that are expected to maintain customer logs should now ensure that official NHS QR code posters are available for customers to use. This does not include hospitals, GP practices, dentists and community pharmacies. However, venues that are not currently expected to maintain customer logs are encouraged to display official NHS QR code posters if they have indoor areas where visitors are likely to congregate or sit-down in close contact for 15 minutes or more.
By using the NHS QR code system, venues will be helping to protect themselves and their customers from the impact of the virus. This system will help to slow the spread of the virus, reducing the impact of a potential second wave, and helping us return to a more normal life.
The posters can be created on-line for free by going to https://www.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster. At-least one poster should be available on the entrance of the venue in a place that is easy to see and convenient for visitors including those in wheelchairs and those with other disabilities. Multiple copies can be produced for different entrances and different size options are available.
Please avoid locations where there will be high ‘glare’ and ensure the poster is on a flat surface so that QR codes can scan properly.
For GP surgeries and dentist surgeries with appointment systems and a clear way to identify and contact who has been on the premises and when, a QR code is not considered necessary although they could be used for waiting rooms if a GP practice or dentist surgery wants to offer that options.
If you are currently using your own QR code system to support contact tracing, you should now switch to the official NHS QR code system. It is highly secure and reduces the need for data management for the businesses. You will only need to maintain an alternative means to log in for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the app.
Visitors will not be able to scan other QR codes with the NHS COVID-19 app because they use a different type of technology. If you need to continue with your own QR code system for non-contact tracing reasons, you must remove any NHS, or NHS Test and Trace, or NHS Test, Trace, and Protect logos to avoid confusion for app users which would result in them failing to log in via the official code and miss potentially important public health messaging.
The following table has examples of locations related to NHS hospitals and corresponding advice on whether QR check-in posters should be used. Some of this may be applicable to larger GP practices, especially those in multi-purpose buildings:
- Entrance to NHS hospital: Hospitals are generally large venues where patients and visitors move around. It is not expected that there would be a QR code at the entrance of a hospital
- General waiting areas/rooms: QR posters are encouraged for these locations unless there is a clear appointment system and a clear way to identify and contact patients and visitors who has been in the area.
- Offices and laboratories attended only by staff: QR posters are not expected for these locations – it is assumed that there are alternative mechanisms to contact staff if needed.
- On-site cafes: These venues are expected to provide customer logs so you should provide a QR poster
- Indoor recreational spaces where visitors are likely to congregate or sit-down for 15 minutes or more: QR posters are encouraged for these locations
- Corridors, hallways or large open spaces in venues that visitors move through: QR posters not needed for spaces that people move through and do not congregate
- Outdoor space, including smoking areas or green spaces: A QR poster is not expected or needed for these spaces