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City pubs, restaurants, barbers and museums are being asked to display new QR codes in a bid to control the coronavirus and save lives. The City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile, is calling on businesses to take part in the national poster campaign...

City pubs, restaurants, barbers and museums are being asked to display new QR codes in a bid to control the coronavirus and save lives.

The City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile, is calling on businesses to take part in the national poster campaign which encourages people to download the new NHS Covid-19 app.

From 24 September certain venues in England and Wales are legally required to display the test and trace posters to make it easier for people to check-in at different premises.

This includes:

  • hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés;
  • tourism and leisure services, including hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks;
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors.

Venues that need to display the QR code but fail to do so are liable for fines of up to £1,000, which will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.

Places of worship and other venues not legally required to display the QR code are also being encouraged to take part.

The process is simple: when someone enters a venue and scans an NHS QR code poster with their smartphone, the venue information will be logged on their device.

The phone will check for other users who have visited at that same time and location and, if the app finds a match with a positive case of Covid-19, users will get an anonymous alert with advice on what to do next.

The alert message does not identify the venue – it only tells the user that they have recently been to a place where they may have come into contact with the virus.

The app will never access the GPS location, contacts, or any other personal data saved in the smartphones.

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Businesses will be expected to make sure their customers are aware of the rules around QR codes by displaying posters and speaking to visitors directly.

People who do not have the app or a compatible phone will be still be required to take part in contact tracing by providing their details using current test and trace methods.

City of London Corporation Policy Chair Catherine McGuinness said: “We all want life to return to normal in the City of London as soon as possible, and this app has a key role to play in getting us there.

“My message to venues that need to display a QR code is therefore quite simple: don’t delay, print yours off and display it prominently now.

“By getting on board with the app we can all help beat the virus and save lives.”

City Corporation Community & Children’s Services Committee Chairman Randall Anderson said: “Many settings across the Square Mile are now legally obliged to display a QR code that works with the NHS Covid-19 app.

“This includes thousands of places including cafes, bars, hairdressers and tailors.

“It’s so easy to get yours. And by taking part you’ll be helping control the virus, saving lives and playing your part in getting the City back to a sense of normality again.”

QR code posters can be created quickly and easily here.

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