QR Code

As an Audiology business do I need to display a QR code? 

As with everything in this pandemic the answer is rarely a simple yes or no and does come down to use of professional judgment along with an understanding of your practice policies on who can attend a clinic. 

The purpose of the QR code is to keep a log of people who have attended a location.  These are often areas that would not ordinarily keep a record of who attended.  With Audiology businesses keeping a record of all who attend your clinic is something that you should be doing anyway through your appointment system however some businesses may have a higher throughput of walk-ins buying ancillary items without the practice keeping a record.  In this case, you should consider displaying an NHS QR  code poster and encourage your customers to record their attendance. 

The simple answer to do you have to display a QR code is no you are not legally required to. However, you may choose to, depending on your individual circumstances or in an effort to embed to support the adoption of people using QR codes where ever they go. 

Below is more information regarding use of a QR code. 

Which venues in England should display the official NHS QR code poster? 

If your business or venue falls into one of the sectors or categories that should provide a customer log, then you must now display an NHS QR code poster at your venue. This applies if you provide: 

  • hospitality services, including pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés 
  • tourism and leisure services, including hotels, museums, cinemas and amusement arcades 
  • close contact services, including hairdressers, barbershops and tailors (including mobile close contact businesses) 
  • facilities provided by Local Authorities, including community centres, libraries and village halls 

Read the full list of organisations within these sectors on 

Displaying an official NHS QR code poster and collecting contact details for NHS Test and Trace is a legal requirement for organisations in these categories. However, if a customer or visitor chooses to check in by scanning the NHS QR code, they do not also need to complete the customer log. 

If you have a venue outside of these categories that is visited by members of the public and has an indoor space where people congregate, then we also encourage you to create a QR code poster for the entrance to that venue. By supporting the official NHS QR code poster system, you'll be protecting your visitors and your business. You will help to slow the spread of the virus, reduce the impact of the second wave, and help normal life to resume more quickly. 

Although there is no mention of specifics around audiology clinical settings we can draw parallels to other settings that could be classed as similar.  Below is guidance for GP surgeries and community pharmacies.  

GP surgeries 

GP surgeries with an appointment system and a clear way to identify and contact who has been on the premises and when are unlikely to need to use an official NHS QR code poster. GP surgeries may consider using NHS QR code posters for waiting rooms if they wish. 

Community pharmacies 

Customers generally move around the space rather than congregate, and are expected, by law, to wear face coverings. QR codes are therefore not required but can be used if a community pharmacy wishes to offer this option.  


Using the NHS COVID-19 App 

We encourage all Audiologists to download and use the NHS COVID-19.  However, as you should be operating only in a Covid safe environment, you are advised to pause contact tracing while you are working in a healthcare setting. 

By pausing the app whilst working, healthcare workers will not receive alerts from contacts in healthcare settings. 

Instructions on how to pause the NHS COVID-19 app are slightly different depending on if you are using it in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  Check your local app guidance for instructions. 

It’s essential that if a healthcare worker receives an alert through the app stating that they are considered to have been in contact with a case of COVID-19, they should immediately inform their manager and self-isolate.   


The alert to self-isolate will read "The app has detected that you have been in contact with someone who has coronavirus. Please stay home and self-isolate to keep yourself and others safe”.  


Users of the app may also receive notifications stating "COVID-19 exposure logging", “COVID-19 exposure notifications” or “Possible COVID-19 exposure”. These notifications are not an alert to self-isolate, they are related to the background activity of the app. 


Why is the NHS COVID-19 app important? 

Every person who downloads the NHS COVID-19 app will be helping in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19). The app will help the NHS understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading, so we can respond quickly and effectively. The app helps the NHS track the virus, not individuals. 


Do visitors need to pause the app when they are wearing masks?  

No. Visitors should not pause contact tracing in the app when they are wearing masks on the wards. The pause function only applies when you:  

  • store your phone in a locker while you're working or are involved in a leisure activity, like swimming 
  • are already protected by a Perspex (or equivalent) screen 
  • are a healthcare worker working in a healthcare building such as a hospital or GP surgery  
  • are a worker in social care and are wearing medical-grade PPE such as a surgical mask