No fines have been issued by Reading Borough Council (RBC) in the first three weeks since rules were introduced requiring businesses to display NHS QR code posters.

Local authorities have the power to issue fines of up to £1,000 for venues that are failing to comply, or the police as a last resort, with this law introduced on September 24.

Fines will rise to up to £4,000 for repeat offenders.

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A spokesman for RBC said :“The QR Code system has only recently been introduced and the delegation of powers to local councils is also new.

“As such, no fines have been issued to date. However, we are due to escalate enforcement actions going forward and we are finalising the processes to do this.

“We are however proactively working with businesses and organisations to help them navigate the new regulations including the requirement for QR codes.

“It is in businesses’ best interest to use this new system – to help prevent Covid numbers rising and reduce the prospect of a local lockdown.”

If individuals check-in using the QR code poster they do not need to log their details via any other route.

When someone enters a venue and scans an official NHS QR code poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone.

The device will check if users have been at that location at the relevant time and if the app finds a match, users will get an alert anonymously with advice on what to do based on the level of risk.

Services included in the new legal requirements are:

Pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés

Tourism and leisure, including gyms, swimming pools, hotels, museums, cinemas, zoos and theme parks

Close contact services, including hairdressers, libraries, children’s centres and events at town halls or civic centres

It is also an offence for a business to fail to adhere to the rule of six when taking a booking.

Reading is currently in tier one of the new Covid-19 restrictions and so the rule of six currently applies both indoors and outdoors.

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Businesses must also ensure adequate distance between tables (2m or 1m+) and prevent customers from dancing.