What do the new Test and Trace laws mean?

Club Insure Risk Management’s Senior Health & Safety Advisor, Paul Kent, discusses the new Test & Trace laws. What does your club need to do?

From Thursday 24 September, many businesses must now, by law, take the contact details of its customers. This will enable them to be contacted should someone there at the same time test positive for COVID-19. The aim is to help reduce the spread of the virus.

HSE have been conducting spot checks on businesses. Local authorities now also have the power to carry out checks and impose fines or order a business to temporarily close.

Which businesses must use the test and trace service?

There is a higher risk of transmitting COVID-19 in premises where customers and visitors spend a longer time in one place. They may come into close contact with other people outside of their household. 

To manage this risk, establishments in the following sectors, whether indoor or outdoor venues or mobile settings, must request contact details from staff, customers and visitors. They must also display the official NHS QR code poster:

Hospitality:

  • restaurants, including restaurants and dining rooms in hotels or members’ clubs
  • cafes, including workplace canteens
  • bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs
  • public houses

Leisure and tourism:

  • amusement arcades
  • art fairs
  • betting and bingo halls
  • casinos
  • clubs providing team sporting activities
  • facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople (including sports stadia)
  • heritage locations and attractions open to the public (including castles, stately homes and other historic houses)
  • hotels and other guest accommodation provided on a commercial basis. This includes bed and breakfast accommodation, boats, campsites, caravans, chalets, guest houses, holiday parks, hostels, motels, pubs, sleeper trains and yurts
  • indoor sport and leisure centres
  • outdoor swimming pools and lidos
  • museums and galleries
  • music recording studios open for public hire or other public use
  • public libraries

Close contact services:

  • barbers
  • beauticians (including those providing cosmetic, aesthetic and wellness treatments)
  • dress fitters, tailors and fashion designers
  • hairdressers
  • nail bars and salons
  • skin and body piercing services
  • sports and massage therapists
  • tattooists

Local authority run services:

  • community centres
  • youth and community centres
  • village halls

This requirement applies to 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.

This could be asked for at the counter, rather than the point of entry. Servers can then more easily ask the customer whether they are dining in or taking away.

Some venues might have communal or open-plan dining areas such as food courts. In this situation, the responsibility lies with the legal owner. However, the operator could ask the individual outlets to conduct this on their behalf if more practical.

Places of worship, including when the venue is used for events and other community activities, are not included in these regulations. They are still strongly encouraged to maintain staff, customer and visitor logs and to display an official NHS QR code poster. Consent should still be sought from individuals entering your establishment. This requirement does not apply to services that are designed to feed homeless people.

What information should be collected?

Venues must ask every customer and visitor for the following details (unless they have ‘checked in’ using the NHS COVID-19 app):

  • the name of the customer or visitor. If there is more than one person, then you can record the name of the ‘lead member’ of the group (of up to 6 people) and the number of people in that group
  • a contact phone number for each customer or visitor, or for the lead member of a group of people. If a phone number is not available, ask for their email address instead. If neither are available, then postal address
  • date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time
  • the name of the assigned staff member, if a customer or visitor will interact with only one member of staff (for example, a hairdresser). This should be recorded alongside the name of the customer or visitor

What to record?

Recording both arrival and departure times (or estimated departure times) will help reduce the number of customers or staff needing to be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. We recognise, however, that recording departure times will not always be practicable and this is not required by law.

All designated venues must also keep a record of all staff working on the premises on a given day. Include the time of their shift, and their contact details. This covers anyone providing a service or activity including volunteers.

No additional data should be collected for this purpose.

In England, you do not have to request details from people who check in with the official NHS QR poster. Venues should not ask them to do both. Venues must not make the specific use of the NHS QR code a precondition of entry. The individual has the right to choose to provide their contact details if they prefer. Should someone choose to check in with the official NHS QR poster, a venue should check their phone screen to ensure they have successfully checked in.

What if someone does not wish to share their details, provide incorrect information or chooses not to scan the NHS QR code?

Hospitality venues must refuse entry to a customer or visitor who does not provide their name and contact details, is not in a group (for which one other member has provided name and contact details), or who has not scanned the NHS QR code.

Venues in other settings do not need to refuse entry but should encourage customers and visitors to share their details or scan the official NHS QR poster in order to support NHS Test and Trace and advise them that this information will only be used where necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

If in the rare case that a customer or visitor becomes unruly, you should follow your own security procedures. This may include calling the police if you feel the individual poses a risk to yourself or others.

The accuracy of the information provided will be the responsibility of the individual who provides it. You do not have to verify an individual’s identity for NHS Test and Trace purposes, and we advise against doing so except where organisations have a reasonable suspicion that customer or visitor details are incorrect.

Exempt visits

  • You do not need to ask for contact details or check scanning of the NHS QR code if the person is a police officer or emergency responder on duty.
  • There’s no need to ask for contact details for people whose visit is for the sole purpose of making a delivery or collection by supplies or contractors, including food or physical goods.
  • You do not need to ask for contact details for those under the age of 16. If an individual says they are under the age of 16, you should not ask for identification unless you judge this to be false.
  • If someone does not have the mental capacity to provide their contact details, hospitality venues should not refuse entry (where they are normally required to do so). Businesses will not be in breach of the requirements if they have reason to believe someone can’t provide the details for disability reasons and don’t ask for them as a result.

If you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, please follow the guidance on the NHS website.

If you have any queries regarding the above, or any other health & safety, HR, training or compliance matters, please feel free to contact the Club Insure Risk Management team for help and guidance. 

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Sophie Joelle

Sophie Joelle