Strictly speaking, there’s no such thing as a vaccine passport yet. It’s a phrase that’s been used by the media and some other countries. In England, if you’ve had two doses of a vaccine or, are otherwise immune, you can obtain an NHS Covid Pass.
A covid pass has been used for trial events in the UK and may be required in the future to prove that you’ve been double vaccinated. This may be for entry to events or attractions and it may be for international travel. At the moment it’s only trial events that have been decided by the government that you need to show a covid pass. Some European countries are also requesting proof of double vaccination but at the time of writing there has been no official EU policy and it’s been left to individual countries to determine their entry requirements.
* Update – On July 8th 2021 it was announced that the Government will allow double vaccinated people to skip quarantine when returning from an amber list country. This will start from 19th July and include children under 18 that have not been vaccinated.
How to get one in England
You can get your vaccine pass in digital form on the NHS App or request a paper copy. Some countries, Malta at the moment for example, require you to show a paper copy.
The NHS App Is not the same as the NHS covid-19 test and trace App. This is the App that you may have used to register attendance at a bar or restaurant and will let you know if you’ve been in contact with someone that has coronavirus. Once you download and register the NHS App it will allow you to:
- Get your NHS Covid pass
- Get advice about coronavirus
- Get health advice
- Register your organ donation decision
- Book appointments
- View your NHS number
- Order repeat prescriptions
Once you download the App you will need to register to prove who you are. Once you have registered you can access the App using a password and security code but it also supports facial recognition and fingerprint access.
Once you have downloaded and registered the App your digital covid pass will be generated if you’ve had 2 doses of the vaccine. It will generate a QR code that is valid for 28 days. After this time it will automatically generate a new one when you log in.
You can also obtain a covid pass if you have had a negative PCR or lateral flow test. This is valid for 48 hours and if you’ve had a positive PCR test (one you send off), you can also obtain a pass that is valid for 180 days.
You can download the NHS App to your smartphone from your App store and login or register. More information and all the links to download the App can be found on this NHS App advice page.
You can obtain a paper version of the covid pass but it will only show your vaccination status and not the results of any coronavirus tests.
You can obtain your paper version from 2 weeks after you’ve had the second dose of vaccine. It will take around 5 days for the pass to arrive. Unlike the NHS App you don’t need to be registered with a GP practice or have an NHS login to obtain a paper pass.
You can apply for a paper version by visiting this covid pass letter page.
Other parts of the UK
The details outlined above relate to England. Unfortunately, there has not been a joined up approach throughout the pandemic by the different countries of the UK. This has sometimes made it confusing! However, all the devolved nations have robust information and procedures in place and for more details of covid passes and vaccination status in other parts of the UK, you can use the following links:
Information for Scotland
Information for Wales
Information for Northern IrelandStay Informed
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