NHS COVID-19 App and QR Codes
The NHS COVID-19 app (‘the app’) is a key part of the country’s ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) response, aiming to extend the speed, precision and reach of NHS Test and Trace in England, as well as NHS Test, Trace and Protect in Wales.
The app will complement the overall service by automating some aspects of the process of contact tracing. Working together, NHS Test and Trace and the app are designed to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by alerting people who may have been exposed to infection so that they can take action.
The app is available to download for anyone aged 16 and over if they choose to do so. For some young people, particularly those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), parents will need to decide whether or not their use of the app is appropriate.
This aligns with wider NHS services which are generally offered to those aged 16 and over as routine. This will mean that some students in year 11, and the majority of students in years 12, 13 and in FE colleges will be eligible to use the app and benefit from its features. Staff members will also be able to use the app.
Read more: Use of the NHS COVID-19 app in schools and further education colleges
This guidance should be read alongside:
The app has a check-in feature which enables a venue to register for an official NHS QR code and allows users to ‘check-in’ to participating venues on their app by scanning that code.
The information stays on the user’s phone. It provides the user with a ‘digital diary’ of where they have been which can support contact tracing if they develop coronavirus (COVID-19) and also means that app users can receive public health advice if necessary if they might have come into contact with coronavirus (COVID-19) at a venue they have visited.
Schools and FE providers are not expected to create NHS QR code posters for their normal day to day operations. NHS QR posters will be put up by various businesses, organisations and for certain activities that are open to the public, and therefore where customers come into contact with people they do not know.
If a setting has premises on site that are within the scope of the current guidance for maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace then they will be expected to have a NHS QR poster for this space, in line with the working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance.
This is most likely to be relevant to FE providers.
Examples of these premises include public facilities such as libraries or close contact services such as beauty therapy services.
NHS QR posters could also be considered in the following circumstances:
- if a setting hosts an event with external guests on the premises, such as a nativity or student art show – depending on the registration arrangements in place, NHS QR check-in would be for people visiting rather than students and staff in these contexts
- if the premises are let out during evenings, weekends or holidays to external providers
- if a setting thinks that use of NHS QR codes and the app is more effective than their existing process for recording external visitors, and providing those visitors’ details to NHS Test and Trace in the event of a positive case at the setting
When needed, schools and colleges can create NHS QR code posters online for free.
A presentation was delivered to the headteachers forum on 01/10/2020
Page Updated 30/12/2020