Registering Attendance in Church Buildings

Although the legal regulation to keep a register of those attending worship has been removed by the Government, when a congregation offers hospitality (tea and coffee after the service, for example) the legal duty to maintain a register is applicable. It is recommended therefore that congregations continue to ask people to check-in to a church building for any reason. This can be done via a QR code or a paper register.

Congregations should ensure that there is a system in place to keep a temporary register of those who attend or visit their church buildings for a period of 21 days to support contact tracing as part of NHS Scotland's Test and Protect programme. This extends to visitors, contractors, volunteers and employees. Congregations should collect the names, contact telephone number and the date of when individuals attend worship or a congregational activity or visit their church buildings. Every congregation will be required to adopt a specific privacy policy as the Trustees of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland are the Data Processor for the purposes of the data protection legislation, not the congregation where a paper register is kept.

Should a congregation wish to use an electronic system (or electronic alongside paper) they should arrange a QR code and materials, free of charge, from the Check in Scotland website. When setting up the QR Code the Government asks for a named person to contact in case of an outbreak and it should be considered making this person the same individual that has been registered with the Law Department for Test and Protect. It is important to remember that it will be necessary to retain some paper registers for those unable to scan QR codes, or where internet/ mobile signal is not strong. If an individual scans the QR code and registers it is not necessary to take their information again in a paper register retained by the congregation.

Each congregation will be required to provide the details of at least one person within the congregation who will be the main contact should the local Health Protection Team required details of who has attend their church buildings. Congregations should register their point of contact online at churchofscotland.org.uk/test-protect. Further information, advice and guidance is provided on our Assisting NHS Test & Protect page.