An update from our CEO: NHS Covid-19 App & Secure Check-In

With yesterday's announcement of the NHS Covid-19 App we have been receiving an increased number of questions from our customers. I wanted to reach out to you as a valued customer, and help you understand more about the NHS Covid-19 App and how it will affect your business/organisation.

In the absence of an official app, the UK Government had originally asked businesses in England to collect contact details of customers and guests for the NHS Test & Trace program. We are delighted that you have partnered with Secure Check-In to meet your Test & Trace responsibilities until now.

The hope is for the new NHS Covid-19 App to reduce the burden on the NHS Test & Trace teams by moving the exposure notification process directly on to smartphones and without the need for a dedicated team of contact tracers to manually contact individuals.

Similarly to Secure Check-In, the NHS Covid-19 App will use QR codes at venues to allow users of the app to "check-in" and record their visit on their device. You will have seen in the news and via Government communications that all venues will have a legal requirement to clearly display the NHS Covid-19 App poster and QR code and we fully support this instruction.

Registering your venue for the NHS Covid-19 App is a free and simple process via the GOV.UK website. Please be wary of any websites asking you to pay a fee to register your venue for the service.

Most of the emails which we have received over the past 48 hours, have been from customers who are unsure whether they need to continue to run their Secure Check-In systems alongside the NHS Covid-19 App.

This question is best answered on the official Covid-19 App website as quoted below:

If your business or venue falls into one of the sectors or categories that should provide a customer log, and a visitor chooses to check-in using the official NHS QR code, they will not need to provide their contact details by any other route.

However, you will still need to offer a manual option for recording visitors' contact details, for people who do not have a smartphone or do not want to use the NHS COVID-19 app.

In short, yes. Unless you can be sure that all of your customers/guests will have the ability to check-in using the NHS Covid-19 App then there is no need to maintain a secondary log for the NHS Test & Trace program. It will take a number of weeks before we can realistically determine uptake of the official app but similar programs in Germany and Ireland have only seen 20% and 37% (respectively) of the general population install and make use of the official app.

An article published by Wired this morning claims that only 1 in 5 eligible participants have been using the NHS Covid-19 App during trials in Newham.

Furthermore, the app is restricted to use by adults over the age of 18 only, and I am aware that many of our customers deal with checking-in children and adolescents on a daily basis. Secure Check-In remains a safe and secure alternative method for checking-in young adults and children if an adult is not present.

It seems very likely that businesses and organisations will continue to rely heavily upon their "secondary" check-in system for the time being, and Secure Check-In remains the most convenient and secure method to meet these obligations whilst remaining GDPR compliant.

In addition to announcing the new app, the UK Govenment have introduced additional data to be collected when visits to your venue are recorded. These include recording the time of check-out and also which members of your organisation had direct contact with the person/group.

As a result, we will be expediting our already planned developments to allow venues to record this new data and will announce more information in due course.

The NHS Covid-19 App must become the primary check-in method for all venues and we encourage you to sign up and display the official QR codes at your venue. You are required to manually record data of visitors that do not have the official app and we estimate that this could account for more than 70% of your total customers/guests in any given period.

We remain committed to providing a simple, secure digital check-in system which will act as your "secondary" check-in method in place of a pen and paper solution. We will soon begin offering a modified version of our posters which clearly indicate that customers should check-in using the NHS Covid-19 App when possible and with Secure Check-In if they are unable to use the app.

Finally, I appreciate that these are testing times for businesses and organisations and that changes to the guidelines with short notice can cause a lot of stress and confusion.

Our team are always available to answer questions or discuss any concerns which you may have and can be contacted at support@securecheckin.co.uk

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