We wanted to share a round-up of the latest updates with you including the imminent launch of the NHS COVID-19 app, further updates to the working safely during coronavirus guidance, some clarifications on the Prime Minister’s announcement and updates on local lockdowns.
New NHS COVID-19 app to support test and trace
Launching on 24 September, the new NHS COVID-19 app will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises.
Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England 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. Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code. 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.
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
- An event which is taking place in a physical location
Once you have registered for your QR code you are being encouraged to display the NHS QR code posters in a place that is visible on entry to the business. Find out more
New measures and restrictions in place
From 14 September new measures are in effect, including a restriction on social gatherings of more than 6 people and a requirement for businesses to collect visitor data to support the NHS Test and Trace system.
The guidance on working safely during COVID-19 has been updated with priority actions for businesses to take, including steps for collecting information for the Test and Trace system and rules on gatherings of more than 6 people. Sector-specific guidance is available for the following:
- Performing arts
- Restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services
- Heritage locations
- Hotels and other guest accommodation
- The visitor economy
Guidance for small weddings, civil partnerships and receptions has also been updated.
Following requests for more detail, please see the following clarifications from DCMS:
- COVID-19 secure venues will be able to host business events of up to 30 people taking into account Visitor Economy guidance, including social distancing requirements.
- The intention remains to reopen exhibition and conference centres from the 1 October but this will need to be continually assessed in light of the recent spike in cases.
- If it is possible to ensure that groups of more than six do not mingle on a guided tour, it can go ahead. This would potentially be the case for a day trip or shorter tours of a visitor attraction.
Areas with restrictions
Despite the introduction of new national restrictions in England, people in areas with local restrictions should continue to follow the rules in their specific area within private homes and gardens, and in public venues including pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions and parks. These areas include Blackburn with Darwen, Oldham and Pendle, Bolton, Leicester City, North of England, Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.
Local lockdown updates:
New restrictions in Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull announced
New restrictions on meeting other people have been announced in order to push down the coronavirus rate of infection in Birmingham (city council area), Sandwell (metropolitan borough council area), Solihull (metropolitan borough council area). From Tuesday 15 September residents in these areas will not be able to mix with any other households, indoors or in private gardens, except for those in a support bubble. This applies both inside and outside the city boundaries.
Leicester City – reopening of some businesses
From 15 September, the following businesses and venues can reopen or restart in Leicester City
- skating rinks
- bowling alleys
- indoor play areas, including soft play areas
- exhibition centres and conference halls for external attendees
- indoor performances
- close contact services, which are any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
- wedding receptions and celebrations, including for up to 30 people in the form of a sit-down meal
Calculate how much to claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Updated guidance is available to help employers calculate employees’ working and furloughed hours for workers who came off furlough partway through a claim period. Employers using this calculation do not need to amend previous claims.
For further updates and changes to guidance visit our website.