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Cornwall Council urges businesses to familiarise themselves with new Government Covid rules

With the government due to launch the NHS COVID-19 app for residents in England and Wales this week, Cornwall Council is urging businesses to familiarise themselves with how the system will work.

Last week, the Government announced that certain venues, including venues run by local authorities will now be legally required to display NHS QR posters in their venues by the 24th September in order to support the roll out of the app.

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For the businesses and other venues involved, the process will mean registering when anyone enters any premises where they may congregate for more than 15 minutes in close proximity to others.

These venues need to keep a record of who is there, and when so that when someone tests positive for coronavirus, the NHS Test and Trace teams can trace people who have been in close contact with that person recently.

The app has been created to make that process easier and more reliable for those businesses, as well as for the general public who visit those places. There are two elements:

Right now, businesses and other venues across England and Wales are being urged by the government to ensure that they have NHS ‘QR’ code posters visible on entry, so that customers can use their smartphones to easily check-in.

There is a legal requirement for certain venues, including public venues run by local authorities, to display NHS QR posters, and to enforce the recently introduced ‘rule of six' in their venues by the 24 September.

You should create and display a QR code if you are a business, place of worship or community organisation with a physical location that is open to the public; or an event which is taking place in a physical location. They include:

• hospitality
• leisure and tourism
• close contact services
• places of worship
• local authority venues, such as libraries and children’s centres

From Thursday 24 September, the public will be encouraged to download the new NHS COVID-19 app, that they then use when entering a premises, by showing their smartphone to the businesses’ QR code poster.

The phone app and the QR code poster do the rest. It will create a digital record that you visited that venue at that time, and that record will be logged on your phone for 21 days.

Those residents without a smartphone will be provided with other methods with which to register their attendance.

Cllr Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for public protection, said: “We want to do all we can to make sure businesses and those businesses affected by the new rules aren’t caught out by the new legal requirements. We are encouraging businesses to follow government guidance and to download the free posters and display them in their premises ahead of the launch of the app. That way, customers can use them straight away, once the app is launched.

“The more data available, the more effective the track and trace process will be, and the more businesses taking part will encourage the public to download the app and to increase its effectiveness.”

If you are a business or you are holding an event at which the public are likely to congregate for more than 15 minutes in close proximity, you can download the free QR code poster here.

If you have more than one venue, you need to create a separate QR code for each location.

For more information about the NHS COVID-19 app, visit covid19.nhs.uk