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Car dealerships to display NHS COVID-19 ‘track and trace’ QR codes

NHS COVID-19 'track and trace' app

Car retailers across the UK could now display QR codes to facilitate the NHS COVID-19 ‘track and trace’ app in monitoring the movement of their staff and customers.

Under rules that came into force yesterday (September 24) dozens of business sectors and community organisations with physical premises must clearly display posters featuring the codes which allow both staff and customers to immediately check-in upon entry to the building via a smartphone device.

The names and addresses of those without a handheld device with which to scan the codes must be manually collected, while those refusing to provide their details should be refused entry.

Hospitality and retail sector law firm TLT LLP said in its guidance to businesses: “It may feel uncomfortable, but if someone won’t provide the information above (or provides inaccurate or incomplete information), you must refuse their entry.

“We suggest you record this information in the same way you might record the refusal to sell alcohol.”

Car showrooms are not specifically listed in the number of settings that lie within the scope of the ruling, but some industry commentators have urged the sector to join the scheme.

In its official guidance to car retailers, the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) said that it was unlikely that dealers would be considered as coming under the scope of the mandatory track and trace QR code display ruling.

However, it added: "We would support any member who wishes to assist the NHS Test and Trace service by displaying the official NHS QR code at their site(s)." 

Official guidance on the implementation of the QR code scheme is now available via the gov.uk website.

It states that advises that numerous codes should be made accessible to avoid queuing at venue entrances.

Separate QR codes must be created for each business location.

To create a QR code that is compatible with the NHS COVID-19 ‘track and trace’ app, businesses will need to visit the gov.uk website and provide: their email address; address of each location; an email address for the manager (or point of contact) for each location; a phone number for the manager (or point of contact) for each location.

The new NHS COVID-19 app has been described as a key tool in the UK's fight againt the coronavirus pandemic and could help car retailers - who have already implimented social distancing measures, one-way systems, thermometers and personal protective equipment (PPE) - to keep track of any potential infection threat to their business.

The new guidance related to the ‘track and trace’ app is part of a series of measures by Government designed to tighten up current restrictions in a bid to slow a rise in the ‘R’ infection rate across the UK.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that all retail staff in England would have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) face masks from Monday (September 28).

Johnson also announced a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a tightening of the existing “rule of six” restrictions to include indoor sports in his speech to the House of Commons on Tuesday.

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