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6th July 2020

Pub loving entrepreneurs today launch new Play It Safe app – a visitor tracking app to keep pubs, restaurants and punters safe during the COVID-19 pandemic – for just 2p per visit.

The new has been designed to collect contact details from pub visitors, so that, in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, the NHS Test and Trace teams can quickly get hold of anybody who might have been infected.

Entrepreneurs Tim Joyce and Justin Smith designed 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 and costs businesses just 2p per visit.

Software developer Tim Joyce from Happy Tickets, and Director of creative agency Orbital Justin Smith, have been working on projects together for the last three years. When they heard the news about the pubs opening, and the issues around the Government’s own track and trace app, they knew they wanted to help out businesses, the NHS and their community with a solution. They put together the app to ensure the design was tested, compliant, secure and launched in time for the reopening of pubs and restaurants.

How does Play it Safe work? – see below for step-by-step guide to use or to download photos and videos click here.

Justin and Tim said it was peace of mind for businesses and visitors alike. They said: “You just show your phone screen to pub staff so they know you’ve signed in. It is your Passport to a Pint! It saves staff time, no taking down details on bits of paper, storing them securely and then finding all the relevant details if they ever need it.”

They added: “Let’s not be naïve about this. This app will be used – there will be people who get tracked through this app. It is needed. We now know from Melbourne and Texas that when pubs and restaurants reopened, they had a jump in cases, and we can all see what’s happening in Leicester! This is not a ‘nice to have’, this is vital – we are at the most critical time in the UK’s COVID-19 journey so far, as social distancing is relaxed. Play it Safe is a simple, cheap and effective way to keep your business and clients safe – to keep our communities safe.”


Editor’s Notes:

Justin Smith, 50, is Director at Orbital – a creative agency in Bournemouth.  His favourite pub is the Wight Bear in Southbourne, Bournemouth. Software developer Tim Joyce, 49, created and runs Happy Tickets – an events ticketing company in Bournemouth and his favourite pubs include the Porter House in Westbourne and the Grasshopper. (*Pubs not affiliated in any way, just enjoyed and missed during lockdown.)

How does Play It Safe work?

  • Pubs sign up to the app, add their pub name and a photo and their credit card details (*for billing.) Then they get a unique URL and QR code to display in the premises to let visitors scan in. (For example:
  • Visitors then go to the link on their smartphone, add their name, email address and phone number. They get a screen to say they have logged in. The whole process takes less than a minute and is completely free.
  • For each pub visitor, Play It Safe charges businesses just 2p (*billed at the end of each month.)
  • If NHS Test and Trace needs to find out who was at a pub or restaurant at a certain day and time, they can simply call the pub in question. The pubs have access to the Play It Safe website and can download the required information.
  • 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 restaurants, campsites, shops, museums, galleries, and many more.