Reading Businesses Urged to Prepare for NHS COVID-19 APP

NHS Test & Trace app

BUSINESSES in Reading are being urged to download NHS Test and Trace QR codes ahead of the app’s official launch on Thursday 24 September.

The QR codes and app is designed for use by venues such as pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas, as well as places of worship and public service spaces such as libraries, museums and community centres. The Council is urging businesses and venues to ensure they have NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS Covid-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in. Using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises. Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. However, an alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example, a handwritten register. QR codes will be an important way for NHS Test and Trace to contact multiple people if coronavirus outbreaks are identified in venues. Following the launch of the new Covid-19 app, customers and visitors will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business. This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak. With coronavirus cases rising in the UK in the last few weeks it is essential businesses capitalise on the benefits QR codes can bring to protect themselves and their customers. QR posters can be easily set up and printed now at The Council has set up a support page for business and venue managers at

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health, said:

“Let’s do the right thing for Reading. If you are a business or venue manager, help your customers to easily check into the places they love. Print your QR poster now in advance of the launch of the app’s official launch on 24th September. “The QR system is a free, easy and privacy-preserving way to check-in customers to venues, and we encourage all businesses to get involved as soon as possible by visiting “We know some businesses may have concerns and questions about the QR codes and the app, and we want to support you as much as possible. We’ve set up a dedicated webpage at “It is vital we are using the NHS Test and Trace system to reach as many people as possible to prevent outbreaks and stop this virus in its tracks. This function will make it simple and easy so we can keep this virus under control.” Watch the information NHS Test and Trace QR codes video here For more information on the NHS COVID-19 app, visit



Businesses and venues that need to create and print a QR poster include: · Hospitality: including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés · Tourism and leisure: including hotels, museums and cinemas · Close contact services: including hairdressers and barbershops · Facilities provided by local authorities: This will include Reading Council’s town hall and museum, civic centres for events, community centres, libraries, and children’s centres (and non-Council run community centres) · Places of worship, including venues used for events and other community activities · Any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, for example, a food or drink outlet which only provides takeaways. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be collected for customers who are dining in.

How does the new system work?

When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone. This information will stay on a user’s phone for 21 days and if, during that time a coronavirus outbreak is identified at a location, the venue ID in question will be sent to all devices. The device will check if users have been at that location and if the app finds a match, users may get an alert with advice on what to do based on the level of risk. The system has been trialled and refined with businesses and residents on the Isle of Wight and in the London Borough of Newham before it’s national launch.