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05th Apr 2021

Everyone must check-in with NHS app at pubs and restaurants

Charlie Herbert

The new rules are ahead of hospitality venues opening on 12 April

Every customer who goes to a pub or restaurant once they reopen will be required to sign in using the NHS Covid app and give contact details.

It is the latest measure the government is planning in order to keep levels of infection down as lockdown measures are eased across the UK.

Previously only one member of a group had to give contact details when arriving at a venue. But now every person must scan the QR code provided to check-in to the venue.

The new rules state: “To coincide with the offer of free rapid testing for everyone, there will be updates to the NHS COVID-19 app in England from 8 April.

“In line with new regulations, when a group enters a hospitality venue, every individual must check either by scanning the official NHS QR code poster with the NHS COVID-19 app, or by providing their contact details.

“Previously, only the lead member of the group needed to provide contact details to check-in.”

If a punter has been in close-contact with someone who has gone on to test positive for Covid, they will be alerted by the app and told to book a test immediately. This will hopefully be easier than it previously was as the government also announced that everyone in England will now have access to two Covid tests a week.

However hospitality bodies have come together to criticise these measures, along with other plans the government are said to be considering, such as vaccine passports and not being allowed to pay at the bar.

UK Hospitality, the British Beer & Pub Association, and the British Institute of Innkeepers have branded the measures as “impractical burdens,” criticising the “over-complicated test and trace rules,” and that the industry will be reopening with “our hands tied behind our back” as a result.

Monday marks the next major step of lockdown easing as non-essential retail and outdoor hospitality is allowed to re-open. This is the third step of the relaxation of restrictions after schools were reopened on March 8, and outdoor socialisation was permitted again on last week.