NHS track and trace will resume on 12 April and will require every customer to sign in, not just the lead booker, MCA understands.

Signing-in to venues will be mandatory for all customers as outdoor spaces reopen, and operators must legally take steps to ensure they have completed the process, or face a fine, according to a briefing call reported to MCA.

Operators will be encouraged to eject customers who refuse to sign in, MCA was told.

UKHospitality CEO Kate Nicholls said the requirements would create many more challenges for businesses.

She said: “The change is around all adult guests, not just lead booker – which makes it more complicated to manage and administer and creates many more challenges for businesses as they can no longer rely solely on the booking systems they have at table but will need to ask people to do the QR code too.”

Dan Brookman, CEO of Airship, whose tech company developed Trck.to app to allow checking in to venues revealed details of the briefing call with the Department of Health.

He said track and trace would be required for outdoors as well as indoors, including beer gardens and pavements.

Takeaway and click and collect operations will not need to introduce test and trace, he said.

Airship’s app was rolled out to 11,000 locations last year, recording the details of 23m people, but the company only ever received a small handful of data requests from the NHS test and team, Brookman said.

Brookman told MCA: “We have said what a terrible waste it was that the data was never used. I’m really surprised that they’re bringing it back.

“It’s a burden for operators to run it. It’s a pain for staff to enforce it. Legally you need to enforce it. You need to take reasonable steps to ensure that customers complete track and trace, either using the NHS poster, or another means, or you refuse them entry.”

Brookman said the industry was due to be told of the news on 5 April, just a week before outside spaces are allowed to reopen, which he said was “pitiful”.

He said: “At least operators had a dry run, as they did it previously. But it’s not great.”

Brookman added there would be GDPR implications over storage and disposal of data.

The only “saving grace” was that Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has not prohibited companies from asking customers if they want to opt in to marketing databases during the sign-in process, he said.