Regulatory teams remind people to ‘check in when they’re out’ as local businesses reopen

Regulatory teams from BCP Council are reminding those visiting pubs, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers and many other indoor venues that everyone over the age of 16 must now provide a name and contact details or ‘check-in’ as part of new NHS Test and Trace requirements.

Business information officers and teams from trading standards and environmental health have been working with local businesses to ensure they are operating safely as lockdown restrictions ease, and have visited over 150 premises to give support and advice since more businesses reopened on 12 April.

In the first week following reopening, the teams visited hospitality businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and found that, of those that had reopened, the majority were largely compliant with new rules and had re-opened successfully. The teams offered support on issues such as outdoor structures, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and the new Test and Trace requirements.

As part of these new requirements, venues in designated sectors must now have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff. All eligible venues must also now display an official NHS QR code poster at entrances. Visitors can then give their contact details either via the NHS Test and Trace App using the QR code or provide the information by an alternative method, which must be kept by the business for 21 days. The new rules apply to businesses in the following sectors:

  • hospitality, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés
  • tourism and leisure, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors
  • community centres, libraries and village halls.

The council’s regulatory teams have also visited other businesses including close contact services such as hairdressers and beauty salons, and provided support in a range of areas including the use of QR codes, ventilation and PPE for staff.

Kelly Ansell, Director of Communities at BCP Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see more businesses reopening in our local community, and our regulatory teams have been working hard to support businesses as they open their doors, to make sure they’re operating safely in line with new guidance.”

“The new Test and Trace requirements mean anyone over 16 going into a restaurant, pub, beauty salon or gym must now check in. These are venues where people might come into close contact with other people outside of their household so it’s vital that both businesses and customers follow the rules, to help prevent the spread of the virus. One in three people with COVID-19 don’t have any symptoms and can pass it on to others without knowing, so these new requirements will help to keep our community safe as more of us enjoy getting out and about again.”

NHS Test and Trace is a key part of the country’s ongoing COVID-19 response, as it can detect people who have recently come into close contact with a COVID-19 case so that swift action can be taken to minimise transmission.

The NHS COVID-19 app is the fastest way to check in to venues. The app is available to download onto smartphones for free. Venues must also have a system for individuals who do not have a smartphone or the NHS COVID-19 app to provide their contact details.

The full guidance on the new Test and Trace requirements is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/maintaining-records-of-staff-customers-and-visitors-to-support-nhs-test-and-trace

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