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Attendance lists in times of Corona and beyond

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For many organizers, restaurateurs and other businesses, attendance lists are primarily a further obligation that must be implemented in a legally compliant manner in addition to the other measures and fears for the future. Unfortunately, the information often has to be collected with great effort.

Attendance lists are extremely important. They are virtually one of the most important non-medical means of dealing with the pandemic. Only if sources of infection can be identified and the persons affected can be traced without any gaps, the spread can be contained.

In this article, we have summarized everything worth knowing about attendance lists.

Why attendance lists?

We are familiar with attendance lists from various contexts: schools, sports clubs, universities, events and, since Corona, also in restaurants, offices and cultural venues. In the fight against the pandemic, they are mainly used for the purpose of complete traceability. Not everyone infected with Covid-19 has symptoms or is aware of the infection. This makes it all the more important to be able to find the right contact persons. Attendance lists are the basis for this.

While attendance lists are a relatively new regulation for many places open to the public, such as restaurants or cafés, they are often an everyday business for event organizers. We want to explain what constitutes an attendance list according to the Infection Protection Ordinance.

Which data must be queried in attendance lists?

Even though there are differences depending on the company, the pattern for keeping attendance lists is basically the same. The following information should be collected:

  • First and surname

  • Phone number

  • District / municipality of permanent residence

  • Full address or e-mail address

  • Attendance time

  • Possibly place and table number, if available

It is also important to note that companies that keep such an attendance list are required to check obvious false statements (such as Petra Mustermann, Pinocchio Müller) and ask these guests to leave. For false statements in attendance lists, a fine of up to 50€ is possible.

Who has to keep an attendance list

Most attention is drawn to the attendance lists in public and freely accessible areas, such as in the hospitality industry or cultural institutions. Here we have provided a few examples of which companies have to submit attendance lists:

  • Catering and accommodation establishments

  • Theatres, concert halls, operas

  • Museums, Memorials

  • Libraries and archives

  • Hairdressers and businesses in the medical sector

  • Driving schools and flight schools as well as their test centres

  • Zoos, animal parks and botanical gardens

  • Swimming and fun pools

  • Indoor recreation facilities (such as climbing gyms)

  • Dance schools

  • Public events

  • Depending on the federal state and current regulations also private events such as birthday parties, funerals, baptisms and weddings

  • Meetings of municipal committees

  • Hospitals

In some federal states, or also in the respective house regulation of individual enterprises, attendance lists also occur. Many companies keep attendance lists for their employees in (open-plan) offices or visitors to the company premises. Attendance lists in universities are also possible again, depending on the house rules of the university. For Christmas markets there is no nationwide decision yet.

Full restaurant before Corona.
A picture from the past: guests sitting in a very confined space, without masks.

Attendance lists and data protection – What needs to be considered?

Attendance lists alone are not sufficient, they must also comply with the GDPR. This is accompanied by a number of data protection guidelines. For example, an attendance list should not be accessible to everyone, for example to other guests. The data should therefore either be entered by the user or other contributions must be covered.

Once the data has been collected, it has to be deleted at the latest one month after contact with the respective person, depending on the corresponding applicable Corona regulation of the federal state. It therefore makes sense to start a new list every day. This makes it easier to comply with the deletion period. The deletion of data must also be carried out in accordance with data protection guidelines. Paper attendance lists must be shredded with an office shredder. Digital lists should be eliminated by a secure deletion process; simple conventional deletion is not enough.

If the health authority asks you to send the attendance lists, you should also document this. Send the lists via a secure transmission path, by mail, fax or e-mail with end-to-end encryption.

Another important point: The data from the Corona attendance lists must not be used for advertising purposes.

If you provide an attendance list, you must also explain to your guests or visitors why you are collecting the data. This refers to the following information: Name and contact details of the person responsible and the data protection officer, the purpose of data collection and its legal basis, possible recipients (e.g. public health authorities), duration of data storage, indication of the existence of the right of access, correction, deletion or restriction of processing as well as the right to complain to a supervisory authority, indication that the data subjects can only be served, informed or examined if they agree to the data collection.

Important notice:

In order to use the data, e.g. for marketing purposes, you always need a declaration of consent from the guests. This can be done in your Sweap registration form e.g. by checking a checkbox. It must be clearly visible what the user gives his consent for, e.g. registration for a newsletter.

In order to comply with the data protection regulations, you must also delete the guests individually or the event after the appropriate time, even if you register with Sweap - this is then also equivalent to the secure deletion process.

Who checks this?

Under certain circumstances, the public health department may ask you to send the attendance lists for verification. How you can do this in compliance with data protection regulations is explained in the last paragraph. The districts and public order offices are responsible for compliance with the measures and specifications for protection against Corona, and the police are also involved.

Download sample templates for guest registration during Corona

Download your free sample templates for gastronomy and trade here. GDPR tested and safe!

  • Guest registration

    Register your guests with this GDPR-secure document. Suitable for gastronomy and trade/craft. Only available in German.

  • Notice: Tips for Corona prevention

    A template for rules of conduct in your company to contain the spread of the corona virus.

  • Notice: 1.5 metres distance + mask

    Ask your guests to keep the minimum distance. The second version with reference to the mask obligation.

But isn't a digital solution a lot safer and better?

If you are an organizer, then attendance lists and their management are basically nothing new for you. Maybe you even have a tool for digital guest list management like Sweap. Due to the digital, DSGVO-compliant storage of the data, this type of guest registration is of course much safer. Also the complete access to the data, which is possible at any time, and the smooth transfer to the public health department (in case of an emergency) speak for a digital solution. This not only saves them time - but also nerves and negative consequences, e.g. in case you loose your lists.

Sweap's registration form has many uses, so you can easily record your visitors by simply customizing the form to serve as detailed attendance documentation. You can find detailed instructions here.

New Feature in Sweap:

For your event, we now also offer a checkout function for your guests. This will enable you to document the attendance time exactly. Learn more in our support article.


During the pandemic, attendance lists are a basic requirement for receiving guests. There are a number of things to consider, especially with regard to data protection and the GDPR. With Sweap you are on the safe side.

Interested? Contact us or test our product demo.

Disclaimer: The contents of this website are created with the greatest care. Nevertheless, we cannot guarantee that it is up-to-date and complete.

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Article by Anne Brünnert
Content management freelancer with a preference for digital topics, agile projects and with stage experience.