Regulations introduced for collecting visitor contact details

The new rules were brought into law to help Public Health teams across the country manage the spread of coronavirus with NHS Test and Trace supported by local contact tracing.

Previously businesses were encouraged to ask customers to leave their details, but the new rules mean this is now a legal requirement. Businesses must retain any detail they take securely and destroy them after 21 days.

Restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs must take all reasonable steps to prevent entry by anyone who refuses to provide details when requested. Failing to supply your details without a reasonable excuse is an offence and could be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty notice or other legal proceedings.

In addition, businesses must register for a QR code and display NHS QR code posters by Thursday 24 September or risk facing a fine. The QR posters are for use in conjunction with the new NHS QR App which is set to launch on the same date.

A wide range of indoor and outdoor venues and premises are affected by the new rules. These include all venues from the following sectors:

  • hospitality;

  • leisure and tourism;

  • close contact services; and

  • local authority venues.

As the App will still be in the very early stages, Norfolk County Council’s Public Health is encouraging businesses to collect contact details manually in addition to asking customers to scan a QR code on their mobile phones.

Norfolk’s Director of Public Health, Dr Louise Smith said: “We know the majority of businesses and organisations have been playing their part by putting in place Covid-secure measures.

“We are asking them to keep up the good work, but it is now vital that we go a step further to ensure we have the best chance of positively managing any spread of the disease.

“In Norfolk we believe this means additionally taking details manually so people can be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and local contact tracing teams if outbreaks are identified, particularly as we know many people may not have smart phones.”

Also from today, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants in England will now need to take bookings of no more than six people and ensure people are not meeting in groups of more than six on their premises.

Sophie Leney, Head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards: “As has been the case throughout, our approach will very much be one of engagement, explanation, and encouragement but enforcement is there if needed. Businesses can contact us for advice and support and we will be updating the business toolkit to include the new provisions”

The regulations will be enforced by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards supported by Norfolk Constabulary.

For further details on the announcement please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/venues-required-to-enforce-rule-of-6-nhs-qr-code-posters-and-contact-logs

To register for a QR poster and other resources see: https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/information-and-resources.html andwww.gov.uk/create-coronavirus-qr-poster

Further materials on the Government’s business to business campaign which also may be useful are available here: https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/Test-and-Trace/resources/customer-logging-toolkit/

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