Track and Trace: An example of how it works

From 14 September, venues such as pubs and restaurants will be legally required to request contact details of customers as part of the Track and Trace initiative.
We asked Richard from our Digital Team to look at an example of a Track and Trace application to see how accessible it is for blind and visually impaired people.

What is Track and Trace?

Track and Trace is a new requirement, implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, for any establishment that provides an on-site service or event. This does not include shops, take-aways or deliveries. The only information that should be collected for this purpose is:

  • The name of each customer, or the name of the lead member of the group.
  • A contact number for each customer, or the lead member of the group.
  • The time and date of arrival, and the time of departure (if possible).

Some establishments will already collect this information, for example in hotels, and there will be little change to the normal procedures. Other establishments, like pubs and restaurants, are seeing the biggest change.

As per the Government guidelines, the giving of this information is voluntary, however, it is also a voluntary action of the establishment to accept you as a customer. Accuracy of the information is entirely the responsibility of the customer. If the information is collected by the establishment for a different purpose than track and trace, you have the right to opt out of Track and Trace.

If there is a suspected outbreak, or someone tests positive for COVID-19, the establishment will be asked for the Track and Trace information by the NHS, and transfer of that information will be done in a secure way.

NHS coronavirus
Track and Trace

Track and Trace applications: An example

A number of different methods have been deployed by different establishments for Track and Trace. As well as the low-tech solution of filling in a form with pen and paper, other tech-orientated solutions have been developed, which may be easier for anyone living with sight loss to complete.

One such solution is by a company called Airship, which I came across on a visit to my local Wetherspoons (all in the name of research of course!) Airship have developed a webpage where people can register their Track and Trace details. So how does it work?

  • Displayed at the venue will be a poster with a QR code and a location number.
  • You can either scan the QR code or you may be directed to the site from an app, as I was in Wetherspoons.
  • If you are directed to the site, as I was, you will be asked for the location number.
  • You are then asked for your name and mobile number, which are mandatory, and your email address, which is optional. You can opt-in at this point to have your details remembered for future visits or visits to other establishments using the same system.
  • Once the details have been entered, a confirmation screen is displayed.
  • If you visit again within 21 days, or you ‘opt in’ to have your details remembered, you only need to scan the QR code or enter the location number.

The webpage appears to be laid out in a way that screen-readers can understand, and so is as accessible as your preferred browser software. The process was straightforward and very quick.

Further support

The government are currently trialling a new NHS Test and Trace app on the Isle of Wight, in the London Borough of Newham, and with NHS volunteer responders across England. When rolled out nationally this app will supplement the other forms of contact tracing. We made a video of this app earlier in the year – give it a watch and hear how accessible Mark from our Digital Team thought it was (please note that there may be changes to the app when it is finally released).

If you need support to be able to access digital technology, please give us a call on 0300 222 5555 or email and we can look at solutions that work for you with your visual impairment.

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