NHS Test and Trace - what beauty & hair businesses need to do
The NHS Test and Trace App enables the public in England and Wales to ‘check in' at any premises they visit – including salons and spas – with the aim of identifying and notifying those visiting your salon who may have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. Those operating mobile services should also provide clients with a QR code to scan when they visit their homes.
Scotland's Test and Protect app, Protect Scotland, is also in operation.
These schemes aim to keep clients, staff and any visitors to your premises safe, minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protect the health of those working in and enjoying close contact services, such as those offered in salons. If there is an outbreak associated with your salon premises, a message will be sent to the relevant app users with the necessary public health advice.
Failure to comply with NHS Test & Trace and Protect Scotland regulations will result in fixed penalty fines.
NHS QR code
In order for NHS Test and Trace to be effective, you must display an official NHS QR code poster in your salon. You can obtain this free of charge from the government website. Every QR code is unique, so if you operate more than one premises, you must create posters for each location.
Clients can download the app onto their smartphone or tablet, from either the Android or Apple App stores, free of charge. Once they register, they can use the app at any premise they visit where tracking and tracing is required, not just your salon, including restaurants and pubs. They simply open the app, scan the QR code with their device, and their details are automatically recorded.
When clients use the app it removes the need for you to record and keep track and trace details yourself; all of the data obtained when your client ‘checks in' remains on the clients' device.
Clients who don't have the NHS Test and Trace app
However, if a client does not have access to the NHS Test and Trace app, for example they don't have a suitable phone or don't wish to download the app, you still have a responsibility to record their data for NHS Test and Trace purposes as you have been doing. This includes:
- Obtaining the name and contact details of your client
- Keeping a record of all staff working on your premises and shift times on a given day along with their contact details
- Keeping these records of clients, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested
- Display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check in' using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details
- Adhere to General Data Protection Regulations
In addition to maintaining and sharing records where requested and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you must also continue to follow other government guidance to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. This includes maintaining a safe working environment and following social distancing guidelines. Face coverings are mandatory for clients to wear (unless they are exempt) whilst visiting beauty salons, hairdressers, barbers and spas, and this is now become law.