New NHS app to help keep our district safe

Hospitality venues and some other businesses in north Oxfordshire are being reminded to display a QR code to support the new NHS COVID-19 app, which launches across England and Wales today.

Published: Thursday, 24th September 2020

The app is part of the NHS Test and Trace service, which will be used alongside traditional contact tracing to help trace individuals who may have come into contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. It allows people to check into venues by scanning a QR code, helps them check if they have symptoms, and helps them book a test.
Cherwell District Council has been working to advise and encourage businesses across north Oxfordshire since lockdown restrictions eased, and says the app will be vital in further supporting customer confidence on the high street. 
Cllr Lynn Pratt, lead member for economy, regeneration and property, said: “The NHS COVID-19 app is there to help venues with the contact tracing which they have been undertaking since the local economy started to reopen.
“The app allows businesses, like pubs, restaurants and hairdressers, to display a QR code and uniquely link it to their business. It means they don’t need to store details from customers who use the app, meaning less of a burden on individual businesses, and greater privacy for customers.
“The app is also highly recommended to people using our council-owned leisure centres in Banbury, Bicester, and Kidlington, where they will see the NHS QR posters displayed.
“Along with wearing face masks, observing the rule of six, handwashing and social distancing, this app is another important part of the jigsaw which will enable people to enjoy our high streets safely and support the recovery of the hospitality sector.”
Cherwell district remains on a yellow alert for the number of coronavirus cases confirmed in the area, with 23 cases in the 7 days up to 18 September. The NHS COVID-19 app also shows risk alerts by postcode area.
From 24 September it is a legal requirement for all designated venues to display an official NHS QR poster. Designated venues include:
• Hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
• Tourism and leisure services, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas and theme parks
• Close contact services, including hairdressers and barbers
• Facilities provided by Local Authorities for the public, including town halls and civic centres for events, community centres, libraries and children’s centres