In a press release that came out earlier this week, the UK government will be requiring all those visiting pubs and restaurants that plan to reopen for outdoor service this coming 12 April to check in using the NHS COVID app.
How will the app check in work?
Initially, the regulations stated that only one person from each party had to provide details when checking into a venue. But now, the rules have been changed to require every single person to complete the check in process when visiting outdoor pubs and eateries.
This will be coming into effect as of 8 April to coincide with the government's plan to offer free, twice weekly rapid testing to become available to everyone in England. The press release explains:
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.
If a person has been at a venue on the same day as several other people who have since tested positive for COVID-19, they may receive an alert advising them to book a test immediately, whether they are showing symptoms or not.This is to support finding asymptomatic cases who may have caught the virus but are not displaying symptoms.
Necessary measures to respect roadmap out of lockdown
All venues in England will be legally obliged to display official NHS posters with QR codes to be scanned by those visiting pubs and restaurants as experts believe this will be the best way to make sure that the roadmap out of lockdown is respected.
By being able to immediately trace positive cases and in turn provide rapid and frequent testing, the government hopes to be able to avoid having to impose further lockdowns as is the case currently in other parts of Europe. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
Massive efforts have been made by the British public to stop the spread of the virus. As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme and with our roadmap to cautiously easing restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted.