The Scottish Government has announced the launch of its new Check In Scotland contact tracing service.
Check in Scotland aims to support Scottish businesses to collect contact details of customers for contact tracing purposes.
So far, more than 6,400 venues have signed up to the voluntary service across the country as shops and businesses re-open after a long Covid-19 lockdown.
Using the official Test & Protect Check in Scotland QR code, the system will allow customers and visitors to “quickly and securely” provide their contact details using a smartphone camera or by downloading the Check in Scotland app.
Service providers have announced that any contact details collected will be held in a secure, encrypted data store unique to each venue for 21 days. Unless the information is requested by public health officials as part of their contact tracing efforts, visitor data is automatically deleted on day 22. Providers say that venue and visitor details “will not be used for any other purpose”.
So far, businesses that can use Check in Scotland include:
- Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes
- Tourism and leisure businesses, such as theme parks, museums and cinemas
- Close contact services, including hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, tattooists, sports and massage therapists
- Services run by local councils, such as libraries, leisure centres and registration offices
- Cremation authorities, burial authorities, places of worship or funeral director service rooms offering funeral services
- Places of worship
Commenting on the new service, Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said: “As travel, retail and hospitality restrictions begin to ease and venues start to re-open, it’s vital that any close contacts of new positive cases can be quickly contacted and given advice to self-isolate.
“Check in Scotland is designed to give businesses an easy way to collect contact details from customers for contact tracing purposes. It is entirely voluntary and up to individual venues to decide what method they prefer to use to collect the required contact details.
“Together with the Protect Scotland app, Check in Scotland will help contact tracers reach people faster if there are coronavirus (Covid-19) cases linked to a venue they have recently visited.
“The faster we can contact people who might have been exposed to Covid-19, the faster we can stop the spread of the virus, and keep moving towards the return of everyday activities.”
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Government officials say that any users will be alerted of potential coronavirus spread by text, email or letter “depending on what details users provide,” and will be “clearly marked as being from NHS Scotland Test and Protect”.
The Check In Scotland service is designed to complement the separately released Protect Scotland app, which alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
According to a statement released by the government, people will “only be advised to self-isolate if contact tracers believe they were in close contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus,
“Otherwise, they may be advised to watch out for symptoms of Covid-19 and to book a test only if they or someone in their household displays symptoms,” the statement reads.