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COVIDCert NI Verifier App – Guidance for Venues & event Organisers using the App

Last updated 22nd November 2021

From the 29th November 2021, people will be required to show proof that they are entitled to enter certain indoor premises and events.  One way is to show that they have been fully vaccinated or are otherwise exempt. This app helps you to confirm that people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

From the 29th November it will be a legal requirement for certain organisations / venues to take all reasonable steps to verify the COVID-19 status of those who visit the organisation / venue, prior to allowing entry.   The use of the app is one such method of confirming proof of vaccination status.

Organisations / venues can use the COVIDCert Verifier App to verify whether an individual has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  The COVIDCert Verifier App is designed for use in scanning and verifying COVID status 2D bar codes (QR codes).  These 2D bar codes can be presented by an individual in a number of ways, for example via the COVID Cert NI App or an officially issued paper copy certificate.  

This guidance is for organisations/venues that will use the COVIDCert Verifier App within Northern Ireland and should be read in conjunction with the Terms and Conditions for the App and the App User Guide.

This guidance does not constitute legal advice and it is the sole responsibility of all organisations / venues to ensure they are using the COVIDCert Verifier App in the manner it is designed for, and that the organisations / venues are complying with all relevant legislation (including data protection legislation).

In verifying an individual’s COVID status, and as such dealing with an individual’s personal data an organisation will be deemed a data controller under data protection legislation. Such verification may be carried out digitally by organisations / venues using the COVIDCert Verifier App.  

Anyone using the Verifier app will need to be aware of the importance of ensuring all personal data processed in the verification process is kept confidential.  You should be discrete when dealing with the public in the verification process.  Further to this, organisations / venues may want to consider whether their employment contracts, agency contracts etc contain sufficient confidentiality provisions.

Further guidance on responsibilities under data protection can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/.

A Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) has been completed by the Department of Health for the COVIDCert Verifier App, and is available on the link provided. Organisations / venues are not obligated to complete a separate DPIA, although organisations / venues may choose to carry out their own DPIA. It will be important for organisations/ venues to carry out their own DPIA, or develop the available DPIA further, if they do not feel that the current DPIA reflects all of the risks associated with their processing. If relying on the DPIA provided by the Department of Health, your privacy notice / website should make this clear.

The COVIDCert Verifier App can be downloaded for free by any organisation / venue that requires to verify the COVID status of attendees at a venue / event.  The COVIDCert Verifier App is designed for use in scanning and verifying COVID certificate 2D bar codes and must not be used for any other purpose.

When verifying an individual’s COVID certificate, and as such controlling an individual’s data, organisations / venues will be required to display a privacy notice.  A template for these can be found on the ICO website – make your own privacy notice.  This template privacy notice may be used by organisations / venues to satisfy this requirement or organisations / venues may choose to produce their own privacy notice.

The Department of Health has also published a Privacy Notice to help the public understand how the App works and it might be useful for you to provide a link to this Privacy Notice within your Privacy Notice.

What you need to do

Any visitors to your venue/ event who are required to provide evidence of their COVID certificate may provide such evidence by way of a 2D bar code issued by a trusted authority.  The presence of this 2D bar code is to allow you to use the COVIDCert Verifier App to scan and verify that the visitor is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The visitor can show you their 2D bar code from their mobile device or from a paper copy.  Both can be scanned using the COVIDCert Verifier App.

If a visitor to your venue does not want to show you, or is unable to show you evidence confirming their Covid status you will not be able to permit that individual entry to your venue, in line with legislation (unless they are exempt or are able to show you alternative evidence required to show their COVID status.)

Where to display your COVID Check Privacy Notice

A template for these can be found on the ICO website – make your own privacy notice for you to download, update with organisation / venue details and print. You should display your privacy notice at all entrances to your premises where the visitors will be asked to provide COVID certificate evidence and within any public communications in advance of your event.

If you own or manage more than one business or venue

If you own or manage more than one business or venue, and they’re in different places, you’ll need to display a privacy notice at each venue and at each relevant entrance. 

Support and feedback

If you want to ask for support or to give feedback about the COVIDCert Verifier App service you can email: covidcertni@hscni.net.

Updated: 1 week ago Posted: October 28, 2021 3:33 pm