Pensioner turned away from his local pub because he doesn’t have smartphone

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David Walters, 78, was unable to use the NHS Track and Trace app to check-in at The Angel Inn in Corbridge, Northumberland, and so staff said he couldn’t come in. He has blasted policy as “ageist,” Chronicle Live reports.

Mr Walters, a widower, said many older people do not own the latest technology. 

He said: “This was going to be the first time I could get out. I’m considered to be extremely vulnerable.

“I just thought it was terrible. Older people like me don’t have this computer knowledge because we weren’t brought up with computers.

“I thought it was really ageist, because they should know that people of my age can’t use this sophisticated equipment.”

Age UK says the use of modern technology in the reemergence from lockdown “risks widening the digital divide”.

“This risks widening the digital divide and reducing the opportunities for some older people to enjoy socialising once again,” the charity’s director, Caroline Abrahams, told The Telegraph.

The Angel Inn has apologised to Mr Walters.

A post on its Facebook page reads: “After following guidelines we have made a mistake and we are sorry.

“Everyone is welcome at The Angel.

“We will be personally apologising to David and inviting him over for drinks on the house.”

Government guidance states venues must provide an alternative method for customers to submit their contact details if they do not own a smartphone.

The guidelines say: “You must make sure that there is a method of checking in that does not rely on the customer using a smartphone or other technology in order not to digitally exclude people without access to these technologies.”

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