The new PlayItSafe app has been designed to collect visitor contact details so that, in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, NHS Test and Trace teams can quickly get in touch with anybody who might have been infected.

Entrepreneurs Tim Joyce and Justin Smith designed the app to make it as easy as possible for pubs, cafés, restaurants and visitors to use.They said: “We love a good pint – it’s something we’ve both missed in lockdown.We know COVID-19 has hit everyone hard – families, friends and businesses, so we understand people wanting to go out and

meet up. But a second wave of COVID-19 is a real threat.We want to help businesses to be safe and compliant when they open back up – and in doing that, help our NHS heroes.We want people to be able to meet up and have a good time but still feel that if there was an outbreak, they could be safely traced.We care about pubs and people and we have the skills to make a difference.”

Play It Safe is free for visitors to use and costs businesses just 2p per visit. Customer data is securely stored, GDPR compliant, deleted automati-

cally after 21 days.

Software developer Tim Joyce from Happy Tickets, and Director of cre- ative agency Orbital Justin Smith, have been working on projects together for the last three years. When they heard the news about the pubs open- ing, and the issues around the Government’s own track and trace app, they knew they wanted to help out businesses, the NHS and their community with a solution.They put together the app to ensure the design was tested,

compliant, secure and launched in time for the reopening of pubs and restaurants.

Early feedback has been encouraging with take up from cafés and pubs from Dorset to Scotland. Martin, from Velo Lounge in Wool, Dorset said: “For customers the great thing is that you don’t even need to download an app. Just point your phone camera at the poster and it brings the link up. It’s so easy, there’s no reason not to use it. It makes it quicker, easier, and for those customers who don’t have a smart phone we just type it in on our ipad.”

When asked about the set up and management of the system, Martin said “I had a quick look Friday, logged-in, completed it last night and printed off the poster. It’s definitely taken a lot of pressure off us, not having to write things down or record it on a different format.”

Justin and Tim said it was peace of mind for businesses and visitors alike. They said:“You just show your phone screen to pub staff so they know you’ve signed in. It is your Passport to a Pint! It saves staff time, no taking down details on bits of paper, storing them securely and then finding all the relevant details if they ever need it.”

They added:“Let’s not be naïve about this.This app will be used – there will be people who get tracked through this app. It is needed.We now know from Melbourne and Texas that when pubs and restaurants reopened, they had a jump in cases, and we can all see what’s happening in Leicester! This is not a ‘nice to have’, this is vital – we are at the most criti- cal time in the UK’s COVID-19 journey so far, as social distancing is relaxed. Play it Safe is a simple, cheap and effective way to keep your busi- ness and clients safe – to keep our communities safe.”

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