Number of people in Scarborough using NHS Covid app to 'check in' to venues fell by 92 percent in six weeks
More than 13,000 fewer people checked into venues in the local authority of Scarborough using the NHS Covid app between the week ending July 21 and September 1.
The number of NHS app check-ins in Scarborough rapidly declined following the lifting of restrictions, from 14,172 in the week ending July 21 to just 1,159 the next ending September 1, a drop of 92%.
But the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) told our sister title NationalWorld it “strongly encouraged” venues to use the check-in function to help stop the spread of the virus – and keep the hospitality sector open.
It comes as an upcoming report for The Lancet medical journal, seen by the i newspaper, is set to warn that the NHS could be at “breaking point” by November if the Government does not reintroduce measures such as mask wearing and social distancing.
This four-week period during August was also a time of rising Covid infection across England and Wales.
Between 4 August and 1 September, the seven day average of positive cases rose by 38%, from 187,959 to 268,799.
Government guidance says that while it is no longer a legal requirement, businesses such as pubs, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in England should continue to ask customers to check-in.
Venues may also store customer details manually, without asking them to check in with the NHS app.
A DHSC spokesperson said the NHS app is a “key tool” in the pandemic response, and had prevented up to 2,000 Covid cases per day in July, broken chains of transmission, and saved thousands of lives.
“Venues are no longer legally required to ask customers and visitors to check in, however venues are strongly encouraged to do so to help stop the spread of the virus, protect society and support businesses to stay open,” they said.
“The more people check in, either by using the NHS app or by providing their contact details, the better protected we all are, as people can be alerted if they are at risk.”