HAVE you been to visit a pub over the last few weeks and been asked to provide your name and contact details?

Part of the government guidelines, issued to pubs reopening, was the advice to support the NHS track and trace scheme. By providing data of peoples movements to the NHS, so that if there was an outbreak of Covid-19 in an establishment that you have been in contact with, you could be tracked relatively quickly, people you have been in contact with can be traced and the outbreak contained.

However, data is difficult to handle correctly and many members of the public have failed to adhere, some reported to having used false information, possibly not realising the need for the systems in place.

Jeremy Place a Herefordshire resident and entrepreneur, has created an NHS compliant Track and Trace system for pubs and hospitality venues to help mitigate the effect of Covid-19 and keep customers and employees safe.

Jeremy said: “We invented the freedom20 system because we wanted to ensure that the smaller independent venues could meet the Government guidance for registering people’s details in a simple, practical way.

" We also wanted to provide a service where any information that was stored to support the NHS Test and Trace system was valid.

"We were worried that other solutions (whether technology-based or not), where the contact details aren’t validated could cause the NHS problems tracing people and this would only become apparent when or if an outbreak occurred, exactly the time when the correct information would be most important.”

Freedom20's USP is that pub owners don't have to collect and store customer data and worry about compliance with GDPR regulations.

For customers, the benefit is their data is being only used for NHS Track and Trace services with no marketing or up-selling messages being sent - simply it is a secure and safe way to visit a pub.

Chris and Hollie Thorpe run the community bought pub, The Boot Inn Orleton, Herefordshire.

The pub opened it's doors on Monday, July 13 using the new Freedom 20 system.

When asked about customer feedback, Chris said: "it was easy and customers could see the sense in it.

They just scan the QR code and they get a text back with a code word for the day.

"The customer uses this code word when ordering their food or drink so we know that they have checked in correctly for the day.

If you don't have a smart phone or have a technical issue, we can check you in manually and you will still receive a text, no teething problems so far."

With the way we use pubs and bars changing because of the pandemic, this system certainly looks like a great support for independent free houses and community owned pubs across Herefordshire.