Digital & IT

Published: July 2, 2020 | Updated: July 2, 2020

Passport to a pint! New visitor tracking app to keep pubs, restaurants and customers safe

Justin Smith, Co-creator of the Play It Safe app.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A new visitor tracking app aimed at keeping pubs, restaurants and customers safe during the pandemic has been launched in Dorset.

The PlayItSafe.app has been designed to collect contact details from pub visitors.

It means that, in the event of a Covid-19 outbreak, the NHS Test and Trace teams can quickly get hold of people who might have been infected.

Bournemouth-based entrepreneurs Tim Joyce and Justin Smith came up with the app to make it as easy as possible for pubs, restaurants and visitors to use.

They said: “We love a good pint – it’s something we’ve both missed in lockdown.

“We know Covid-19 has hit everyone hard – families, friends and businesses – so we understand people wanting to go out and meet up.

“But a second wave of Covid-19 is a real threat.

“We want to help businesses to be safe and compliant when they open back up – and in doing that, help our NHS heroes.

“We want people to be able to meet up and have a good time but still feel that if there was an outbreak, they could be safely traced.

“We care about pubs and people and we have the skills to make a difference.”

Play It Safe is free for pub and restaurant visitors to use.

It costs businesses 2p per person, per visit.

Tim, 49, pictured left, is a software developer and Founder of event ticketing company, Happy Tickets. He lives in Westbourne.

Justin, 50, from Southbourne, is Director of creative agency Orbital.

The friends have been working on projects together for three years.

When they heard the news about the pubs opening and the issues around the government’s own track and trace app, the duo decided to help out businesses, the NHS and their community with a solution.

Both developed the app to ensure the design was tested, compliant, secure and launched in time for the reopening of pubs and restaurants.

Justin and Tim said it was peace of mind for businesses and visitors alike.

They added: “You can then just show your phone screen to pub staff, so they know you have signed in.

“It is your passport to a pint,

“It saves staff time in taking down details on bits of paper, storing it securely and then finding all the relevant details if they ever need it.”

How Play It Safe works:

  • Pubs sign up to the app, add their pub name and a photo and their credit card details (for billing.) They get a unique URL and QR code to display in the business to let visitors sign in.
  • Visitors go to the link, add their name and email address or number. They get a screen to say they have logged in. The whole process takes one minute and is completely free.
  • For each pub visitor, Play It Safe charges businesses 2p (billed at the end of each month.)
  • If NHS Test and Trace need to find out who was at a pub or restaurant at a certain day and time, they simply call the pub in question. The pubs have access to the Play It Safe website and can download the required information. Every sign in marks the time and date of the visit.
  • The details are kept on a secure system and automatically deleted after 21 days in accordance with current guidelines. It is GDPR compliant, with businesses acting as data controllers. However, none of the details given can be used by pubs later for marketing purposes. It is simply to help the NHS Test and Trace in case of a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The app can be used by any business looking to quickly and simply trace visitors, this could be campsites, shops, museums, galleries, and many more.