Businesses and services have an important role in helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. They can do this by meeting COVID-19 alert level requirements, including the contact record rule if it applies. Businesses and services can also support workers, customers, and visitors to meet their requirement to wear a face covering when applicable.

We expect businesses and services to do what is reasonable to comply with the contact record rule and to support workers, customers, and visitors to wear a face covering when required.

The contact record rule for specified businesses

All businesses and services must display a QR code and have an alternative way available for customers and visitors to record their attendance if they don’t have the COVID-19 tracer app.

Specified businesses and services(external link) have to meet additional requirements to support contact tracing. These businesses and services must have systems and processes in place to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that everyone aged 12 or over who enters the workplace:

  • scans the QR code for the workplace or otherwise makes their own contact record, or
  • provides details in a contact tracing record that the person in control of the workplace collects.

This requirement comes into force from 8 September at Alert Levels 3 and 4, and 15 September at Alert Level 2.'s page on contact tracing(external link) has detailed information about how specified businesses and services can meet the contact record rule as well as the general record-keeping requirement. Meeting these requirements means businesses and services need to think about what they can reasonably do to encourage people entering their premises to scan or otherwise make a record of their visit.

If customers or visitors refuse to use contact record systems and processes, businesses or services are not required to try to make them do so. We do not want workers’ health and safety to be put at risk.

The contact record rule means businesses and services have to put enhanced systems and processes in place, and it may take time to get these right. We will take an education-first approach for businesses and services that aren’t meeting these COVID-19 requirements. However, if a business or service then fails to make the changes we expect, we will consider taking enforcement action.

Face covering requirements

As we learn more about stopping the spread of the virus, the COVID-19 legislation requirements are updated to respond. Wear a face covering | Unite against COVID-19 ( link) has the latest information about face covering requirements.

Unlike the contact record rule, individuals (not businesses and services) are responsible for meeting face covering requirements. Workers, customers, and visitors must wear a face covering in certain situations.

Businesses and services do not have to stop people without face coverings from entering their premises or boarding their transport service. This is because some people will be exempt from wearing a face covering(external link).

Businesses and services may choose to provide face coverings to customers or visitors who don’t have one, as part of encouraging them to comply with face covering requirements.

Businesses and services should encourage their workers to wear a face covering when required to do so under COVID rules. If necessary, they could provide the face coverings.

Making sure workers have face coverings and wear them when required also helps businesses and services meet their Health and Safety at Work 2015 (HSWA) primary duty of care(external link).

Remember: face coverings required under COVID-19 legislation and PPE required under HSWA are different. Businesses and services cannot substitute PPE required under HSWA, such as respirators to protect from dust, with other forms of PPE, such as face coverings.