NHS Test and Trace in Grassroots Football

This updated guidance comes into effect from 24 September.

We’d like to draw your attention to the Government’s recently updated guidance on test and trace, and specifically a new section on the use of QR codes. This has important implications for many of you and requires action.

By maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors, and displaying an official NHS QR poster, you will help NHS Test and Trace to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to the virus.

You must register for an official NHS QR code and display the official NHS QR poster from 24 September 2020 when the NHS COVID-19 app will launch for public use nationally

The NHS COVID-19 app has a feature that allows users to quickly and easily ‘check in’ to your venue by scanning the code. The information stays on the user’s phone. In England, you do not have to ask people who choose to ‘check in’ using the official NHS QR code to provide their contact details. If there is an outbreak associated with a venue, a message will be sent to the relevant app users with the necessary public health advice. This will help to avoid the reintroduction of lockdown measures and support the country to return to, and maintain, a more normal way of life. An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example a handwritten register but kept in-line with GDPR legislation. Read more.

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
The relevant settings this applies to are:

  • clubs providing team sporting activities
  • facilities for use by elite and professional sportspeople (including sports stadia)
  • indoor sport and leisure centres
  • cafes, including workplace canteens
  • bars, including bars in hotels or members’ clubs

Please note this updated guidance comes into effect from 24 September and failure to comply will result in Government issued fines of up to £1,000 for venues that are failing to comply. Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.

Learn how the NHS App will work HERE

Full information on test and trace can be found HERE 

Full FA guidance can be found HERE


Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to support NHS Test and Trace efforts?
Yes, facility providers are expected to fully support the Governments test and trace system. This involves displaying NHS QR posters at your venue to offer a quick, simple and secure way for visitors to register that they’ve been to your venue. 

You must register for an official NHS QR code and display your official NHS QR poster at entrances to your venue, in places that are easy for visitors to see and access such as your car park and entrances to your pitches and clubhouse. The same poster should be printed and displayed multiple times to avoid queuing and congestion when visitors are registering.

Where can I find out more about the NHS QR code for test and trace?
A full set of FAQ’s from the NHS can be found here

Is the QR code just for facilities with buildings/changing rooms?
This applies to all football facility types including pitch only sites, however if not practical to use the QR code, information can be captured manually. Essentially, if you play at a venue that is visited by members of the public and has a space where people congregate, then we encourage you to create a QR code poster for that venue if not already in place. 

When does a club need to create a QR code? 
A club should create a QR code when the club is the facility operator or a QR code is not provided by the facility it hires for training or home matches. Each different venue should have a QR code.  

Do all players and parents have to scan the code or can a coach scan this on behalf of the players?
Anyone over the age of 16 should register their visit. Parents/guardians can do this on behalf of their children. Individuals are encouraged to register (instead of a group representative). 

What visitor types does test and trace apply to? 
Players, spectators, coaches, match officials, staff / volunteers and all other visitors to the site aged 16 and above.

If we use local authority pitches, do we still have to produce a QR code, or do the Local Authority?
This must be agreed between the facility provider and the user group. In certain venues it may be more effective for user clubs to register visitors. In such cases, each club must provide the facility provider with a copy of their Covid-19 risk-assessment (including its track and trace measures).

What happens if a visitor refuses to register via the NHS QR system? 
For pitches and outdoor areas, downloading and using the NHS COVID-19 app is currently voluntary. Facility providers should encourage all visitors to use this service but should not stop visitor access if they have not used the check in feature.

However, in hospitality areas, Government guidance states that visitors should be refused entry if they do not provide their name and contact details, is not in a group (for which one other member has provided name and contact details), or who has not scanned the NHS QR code.

If in the rare case that a customer or visitor becomes unruly, you should follow your own security procedures. This may include calling the police if you feel the individual poses a risk to yourself or others.

What happens for people who don't have the appropriate smart phone to scan the code, or no phone at all?
A manual system must remain in place as a backup.