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COVID-19: Displaying QR codes in your practice

Published on 13 October 2020

Do I need to display the NHS QR codes in my practice?

Osteopaths in England can display an NHS app QR code at their practice if they wish to do so, but whether or not they are required to do so is not entirely clear in the legislation.

Venues in Wales are strongly encouraged to download and display the NHS QR code poster within their premises. In Wales it’s only compulsory for businesses in certain high risk sectors to collect and keep records of staff, customers and visitors, without mention of QR codes. See: www.legislation.gov.uk/wsi/2020/725/regulation/12

The Government’s new legislation for England in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic, The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Collection of Contact Details etc and Related Requirements) Regulations 2020, places an obligation on certain businesses in England to display the NHS app QR code and failure to do so is an offence. This legislation came into force on 24 September 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/venues-required-to-enforce-rule-of-6-nhs-qr-code-posters-and-contact-logs). Further guidance is contained on the NHS website: https://faq.covid19.nhs.uk/article/KA-01183/.

However, whether or not this requirement includes osteopathic clinics is not entirely clear. Osteopathic clinics are located in a diverse range of settings, so it will be important to review the guidance and determine whether your clinic seems to be included in the definition. Osteopathic clinics in England that could be included (for example because they are based at a sports or leisure centre, or located with sports or massage therapists), may need to comply with the requirement to collect names and addresses for test and trace and to display the QR code.

To help provide clarity on the matter, we are currently liaising with the Institute of Osteopathy (the professional body for osteopaths) over the interpretation of this legislation, and we will issue further updates when we know more.

Please be aware the apps used in Northern Ireland and Scotland do not have the QR code software to allow for venue check-ins. The Northern Ireland and Scotland apps focus on proximity tracing instead.