We need more than just Covid certification to deliver a great British summer. We need to better manage risk.
Recently the Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke of his belief that this year would see a “Great British Summer” with the country returned to a more normal state of affairs. The Government’s strategy to deliver this now seems focused on the development of Covid-19 certification, with people likely required to prove they have been vaccinated or received a negative test, to enter venues like pubs or sporting events. However, a certification only scheme alone does not provide us with the tools to unlock our hard-hit hospitality and events industry. We need to ensure that we combine covid certification with a more comprehensive system which uses data to map out and analyse risk, helping informed decision making.
Why is Covid-19 Certification important?
For businesses such as hospitality and events, Covid-19 certification can play an important role in the unlocking process. However, to be successful, any scheme needs to do more than simply display a negative result and / or vaccination status. Should just one person with an infection slip through the net; have Covid-19 post vaccination; or become infected after a test has been logged, the shortcomings of a basic certification scheme become clear. To minimise the risk of spread resulting from hospitality or events venues, we need to combine covid certification with a more comprehensive system that maps out and analyses risk, helping informed decision making. One early example of where a more advanced certification scheme could be applied is at the June European Football Championships. In this scenario, in addition to covid-19 certification on entry, we also need to ensure that infection risk is being monitored during and after the match.
How can Synoptic help to deliver this?
This is where Synoptic can help; our Reactivate software not only enables users to display vaccination status but manages the risk of connecting attendees at an event – for instance, fans stadium employees and players. Not only can we map out infection risk and proximity, but we can provide organisers with critical insights in real time. This means that those who may have been exposed to covid-19 risk can be required to isolate, a test ordered, and the information shared with existing NHS databases.
Helping Businesses manage the administrative burden.
In creating a Covid-19 certification scheme we also need to be cognisant of the potential administrative burden we are placing on businesses / venues, many of whom will have struggled financially due to the effects of lockdown. This was a key learning from our pilot scheme with schools across Cambridgeshire, as Headteachers reported that they were spending a prohibitively high amount of time managing staff absence and on rotas. When designing a covid-19 certification scheme we therefore need to consider these factors and the potential that an enhanced burden could have on general compliance. However, our Synoptic Reactivate management dashboard directly addresses these administrative burdens, providing the user with a management dashboard than can not only enable analysis of certification, but provides a clear and real-time overview that enables swift decision making. Feedback from Headteachers in Cambridge was that the Reactivate app significantly cut administrative burden and we believe this will be critical for any enhanced certification scheme. The reality is that many businesses lack the expertise or the administrative capacity to analyse significant amounts of Covid-19 data and Reactivate helps to significantly ease that burden.
What needs to happen next?
To realise the Government’s vision of a ‘Great British Summer’ we need to take a more holistic view of how we manage covid risk. Covid-19 Certification is an important step to reopening venues and hospitality, however, we need more than just proof of test and proof of vaccination to effectively manage risk. Through our Reactivate app, we stand ready to work with businesses and the Government to help support them to deliver on their objectives throughout this crucial process.
Please contact us for further details.