The rules on Test & Fucking Trace in England change on April 12th and it’s going to be a pain in the arse.
Somewhere in an email account we will never see sits an invite to our Prime Moron and his band of Merry Muppets to a party on the new yacht of the bloke paid billions of pounds to make the test and trace system. It also contains many champagne, party hat, wads of cash and laughing face emojis.
Yet it appears rather than trying to fix a system that has been roundly criticised as being as effective as Boris’ brand of condoms the government are doubling down on the ‘it works a treat’ line they have been treading.
As a result, as of the 12th April, no longer will the lead booker of a group of people be the only person who needs to register when they enter (or sit outside) your venue. Oh no, now everyone who visits will have to register.
We all know this is going to be a shit show, due in no small part to the fact the government have not communicated this in any meaningful way to the general public. Once again the hospitality industry will be the ones left to do their jobs for them.
This time round we will not be the only ones asking for this information, the likes of cinemas, museums, hairdressers and tailors (ffs) will also be required to gather the data. (You know a ‘however’ is coming don’t you? You’ve seen how this has worked for the last year. There is going to be a hospitality only rule. Yep, here it is.) However, hospitality will be the only ones required to refuse entry if someone refuses to provide their information. Yep.
Here’s the official government wording:
Venues in hospitality, the tourism and leisure industry, close contact services, community centres and village halls must:
- ask every customer or visitor (over the age of 16) to provide their name and contact details
- keep a record of all staff working on their premises and shift times on a given day and their contact details
- keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
- display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app as an alternative to providing their contact details
- adhere to General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
Hospitality venues have additional requirements and must also take reasonable steps to refuse entry to anyone who refuses to participate.
Failure to do any of these requirements could result in fixed penalty fines.
What are those fines? First penalty £1K, second penalty £2K, third penalty £4K and any on top of that £10K a pop.
You must register for an official NHS QR code poster (which you can do here) and one must be displayed at each entrance to your venue. The QR codes you had previously will not work and you will need to order new updated ones.
According to gov.uk, In England, if you’re currently using your own QR code system to collect contact details, you should now switch to the official NHS QR code system (note this says should but either way you have to have the NHS QR code poster at every entrance anyway).
You will also need to have a system to collect data from anyone who doesn’t want to use the App or doesn’t have a smartphone (and yes those crazy people do exist and they aren’t all drug dealers – hi mum). You will also need to collect the details of your staff. Once again let’s get the official government wording:
Venues must ask every customer and visitor (over the age of 16) for the following details (unless they have ‘checked in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app):
- the name of the customer or visitor
- a contact phone number for each customer or visitor. If a phone number is not available, you should ask for their email address instead, or if neither are available, then postal address
- date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
- the name of the assigned staff member, if a customer or visitor will interact with only one member of staff (for example, a hairdresser). This should be recorded alongside the name of the customer or visitor
Recording both arrival and departure times (or estimated departure times) will help reduce the number of customers or staff needing to be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. We recognise, however, that recording departure times will not always be practicable and this is not required by law.
All designated venues must also keep a record of all staff working on the premises on a given day, the time of their shift, and their contact details. This covers anyone providing a service or activity including volunteers. Venues must keep these records of staff, but staff can choose to check in using the NHS QR code poster in addition, if they wish.
So you have your posters up, you have people coming in and you ask them if they have scanned the NHS QR Code? Yes, they say, merrily looking forward to their drink, movie, haircut or having their testicles cupped by an old man with a tape measure. Excellent you say, follow me. Simple right? Ready for another Hospitality However? Here it is:
Hospitality venues should verify that an individual has checked in using the QR code by reviewing the individual’s phone screen. This is not necessary if they have already provided their contact details.
Yes, yes we know that Test & Trace is important (or it would be if it fucking worked) and it is this sort of thing that the government are using as a reason to open hospitality up. Of course the hospitality industry will embrace the change, and do so (at least outwardly facing) with a smile and more patience than Saint Patience of Self-Restraint, but the one (thousand) rule for hospitality and one for everyone else is getting past tiring.
If you want to read more government drivel about this subject feel free to head here. For your QR code click this. If you want some lovely posters we suggest designing them yourself but failing that you can stick your finger on this link.
We have our NHS App downloaded and can’t wait to get back out and see all your lovely faces (and Stuart Hudson) next week.
This article is part of a series dedicated to reopening of hospitality with tips, advice and important information that we will be publishing in the coming weeks to find similar articles simply type reopening into the search bar. If there is an area that you as an employer or employee want us to cover please email firstname.lastname@example.org