The government introduced its heritage reopening guidance in June 2020. As part of this guidance, museums and other sites across the hospitality sector (such as pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and barbers) are required to collect data to support the government’s track and trace programme. This is likely due to the length of time visitors will spend in these places of business.
However, it is possible that this will not be a requirement in the longer term. Museums should consider carefully the amount of time and money they wish to invest in this and how it can best serve their organisation in other ways – such as helping to manage events, visitor number and potential for future uses.
Public Health England has published the Customer Logging Toolkit for track and trace. This contains a variety of template materials for businesses to display, as well as guidance on how it works. If a customer tells you they have tested positive for coronavirus, businesses should register their contacts with NHS Test and Trace and leave any follow up work with other customers to the local NHS Test and Trace team. If they assess that the customer was on your premises while potentially infectious, they will contact you to provide support and to obtain the details of anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.
Questions to ask yourself
- Have you considered how you might record visitor information to assist with Track and Trace?
- Is it possible to implement online ticketing as a way to manage the number of people on your site, as well as to collect this information?
- How much information do you need? Refer to the government guidance for the latest information on this.
- How long do you need to keep it for, and can you use it for only one purpose? What you use it for will need to be made clear to your visitors.
- How can you store this data safely?
One small museum has provided a low-tech option:
‘We’ll have paper sheets (like our booking sheets) where the volunteer on duty on the door can take a contact name and either phone number or e-mail address for each person (or household contact if coming as a couple/family group etc) visiting. We will also note the time that they entered the Museum.
We’ll have separate clipboards for morning and afternoon shifts so there is no transmission between volunteers on duty.
Clipboards will be wiped down and cleansed as part of the end of day cleaning procedures so are sanitised for the next day’s users.
Paper records from that day will go in a secure file in the office and be retained for 21 days. They will not be held electronically.
They will only be shared with the NHS for track and trace purposes on request. After 21 days the paper files will be destroyed by being shredded and disposed of through confidential waste.
Accordingly, we reserve the right to refuse admission to the Museum on the following grounds:
- Any visitor who appears to have symptoms of Covid-19;
- Any visitor who does not keep to our social distancing regulations, even when asked;
- Any visitor who does not use hand sanitiser on entering the Museum;
- Any visitor who does not leave a contact name and either telephone number or e-mail when asked to maintain the test, track and trace regulations.
One other thing to add is that we’ll have a GDPR statement about why, how and what we’re doing on collecting this information on the form to answer any visitor enquiries, along with a printed copy for people to consult on display along with our other COVID procedural information in our foyer, and on our website (from next week when we go live with this).’
Stuart Orme, The Cromwell Museum, https://www.cromwellmuseum.org/
Government Heritage Reopening Guidance
NHS test and trace: how it works
Customer logging toolkit
Coronavirus Covid-19 NMDC Good Practice Guidelines on the Reopening of Museums after July 4, 2020 https://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/media/nmdc_museums_guidelines_v.1.1_25_june_2020.pdf
Information on online ticketing through Art Tickets (a free system offered via Art Fund)
The Audience Agency’s information about online ticketing
Introduction to ticketing for museums and galleries
Customer Logging – A toolkit for businesses
NHS Maintaining Records of Staff, Customers and Visitor Logs FAQs
Maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace