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How to get your NHS Covid Pass

NHS COVID Pass: what it is

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.

It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 vaccine (or vaccines) when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.

From Monday 19 July, you may be asked to demonstrate your COVID-19 status at places that use the service in England as a condition of entry to a venue or event.

What you can use it for

International travel

You can show the vaccination records contained within your NHS COVID Pass as proof of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad.

In addition to your NHS COVID Pass, you will need to follow additional rules when travelling abroad.

Read an overview of all the things you need to do to travel abroad from England

You should check that the name on your passport matches how it is displayed by NHS COVID Pass at least 2 weeks before you travel. If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated.

The government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure everyone in the UK is able to show their COVID-19 status.

If you have not been fully vaccinated, you should continue to follow the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to, such as proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival. You should carefully research the requirements of your destination country before travelling.

Further details on entry requirements can be found on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages and on the websites of your destination country.

See advice about travelling abroad from England during the pandemic

Domestic use in England

The government has recently announced that businesses in England can use the NHS COVID Pass.

Some events and venues may choose to ask for the NHS COVID Pass. The government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this.

Use of the NHS COVID Pass is voluntary for individual organisations. However, we encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass in facilities or events where people are likely to be in close proximity to a large number of people from other households for a sustained period of time.

This is likely to include settings that have the following characteristics:

  • crowded indoor settings such as nightclubs and music venues
  • large unstructured outdoor events such as business events and festivals
  • very large structured events such as business events, music and spectator sport events

This means that you may need to show your NHS COVID Pass at places that use this service.

See guidance around working safely from step 4, including how the NHS COVID Pass can be used to reduce the risk of transmission at venues or events in England.

Further guidance on how organisations can use the NHS COVID Pass.

Who can get an NHS COVID Pass in England

If you’re aged 18 or over, you can get an NHS COVID Pass for domestic venues and events.

If you’re aged 16 or over, you can get an NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad but you should follow the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to.

If you’re in the UK armed forces, visit ‘My health care hub’ on the Defence Gateway (login required) to find out how to get your NHS COVID Pass.

For travel abroad

You can obtain your NHS COVID Pass after receiving either:

  • 2 doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine
  • one dose of the Janssen vaccine
  • proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19, lasting for 180 days after the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period

You must have been vaccinated in England, Wales or Scotland. If you’ve been vaccinated in Scotland, you must be both:

  • resident in England
  • registered with a GP in England

You can usually obtain your NHS COVID Pass within 24 hours of having your vaccination. However, it can take up to 5 days for your records to be updated.

For domestic use

For domestic purposes, those 18 and over can obtain an NHS COVID Pass if one of the following applies:

  • 2 weeks after completing a full course of vaccination, whether that requires 2 doses or one dose (that is, 2 doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 dose of the Janssen vaccine) (according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency authorised schedule).
  • with evidence of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of entry to a venue, with both at-home and on-site (where available) being accepted. A lateral flow test taken at home will need to be reported into the public reporting system
  • proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19, lasting for 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period

You must have been vaccinated in England, Wales or Scotland. If you’ve been vaccinated in Scotland, you must be both:

  • resident in England
  • registered with a GP in England

Exemptions for domestic use

If you have received a trial vaccine as part of a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK, you will be able to prove your status through the NHS COVID Pass or with a letter confirming your participation in the trial from your trial site.

See Residents in England who have taken part in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials below.

If you have a medical reason which means you cannot be vaccinated or tested, you may be asked to self-declare this medical exemption.

How to access the NHS COVID Pass

Access the NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App

You can access your NHS COVID Pass through the free NHS App on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 status will be shown within the NHS App.

You need to be registered with a GP in England to use the NHS App. If you’re not registered with a GP, you can still access the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS website (NHS.UK) or via 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’) to request a letter.

We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel. For access via the NHS App you do not need to contact your GP.

The NHS App is not the same as the NHS COVID-19 app.

In the NHS App, your COVID-19 status includes a 2D barcode. The expiry date does not apply to your vaccination status. Any expiry date refers only to the barcode and will update automatically each time you go into the NHS App.

If you obtain your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App using an iPhone or iPad, then you will be able to store your COVID Pass using the Apple Wallet. You can then use this to show your COVID-19 status at events and venues in England, but not for international travel.

You will see the ‘store in your Apple Wallet’ tab on your screen within the NHS App. If you store a PDF version of your COVID Pass in your Apple Wallet please note the expiry date – the PDF version will expire after 30 days. It will only refresh in the NHS App itself. This means you may need to download an updated NHS COVID Pass before you next need to use it.

Access the NHS COVID Pass through the NHS website

You can view your COVID-19 status online and download or print it as a PDF document. To access the service, you’ll need to register for an NHS login if you do not have one already. NHS login registrations may take longer than usual when there are high numbers of requests.

Access the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS website

Your COVID-19 status includes a 2D barcode. The expiry date does not apply to your vaccination status. Any expiry date refers only to the barcode and will update automatically. If you download and print a copy, the expiry date will eventually show as expired and will not automatically refresh.

Using the NHS COVID Pass for international travel

If you’ve received a full course of a vaccine requiring 2 doses, you will see 2 barcodes within the NHS App: one barcode per vaccine.

If you print a PDF of your COVID Pass status, your printed copy will show 2 barcodes. The printed copy is valid until its expiry date.

A full course of vaccine requiring one dose will be displayed as a single barcode.

Request an NHS COVID Pass letter to be posted to you

Request a letter only if you:

  • have been fully vaccinated by the NHS in England
  • are planning to travel in the next 4 weeks to a country that requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination

You can obtain an NHS COVID Pass at age 16 plus but do not need one to access venues or events in England if you are under 18 years of age.

You can request an NHS COVID Pass letter:

  • via the NHS website
  • by calling 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’) if you do not have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet

If you’re overseas, call +44 151 905 0119 to access the NHS COVID Pass service. You’ll be charged according to your carrier’s rates.

We expect the letter to take up to 5 working days to reach you.

The letter will be sent to the address registered with your GP. If you have recently moved house, make sure you’ve given your new address to your GP practice before requesting a letter.

The COVID-19 post-vaccination letter was rebranded from 5 July. It now displays the title ‘NHS COVID Pass’ and the logos of all 4 nations instead of just the NHS logo.

If you got a COVID-19 post-vaccination letter before 5 July, this is still valid. You do not need to apply for a new version.

If you intend to use the letter when travelling abroad, other countries will treat the old version of the letter in the same way as they treat the new one.

You should confirm the entry requirements of your intended destination country using the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages, as requirements for testing and vaccination can vary from country to country.

GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 status.

What the NHS COVID Pass letter tells you: translated versions and alternative formats

The NHS COVID Pass letter you receive will be in English.

You can get information about what the letter tells you in other languages and alternative formats.

However, you’ll still need to show the original English letter to demonstrate your COVID status, for example when travelling abroad. You do not need your letter in a language to match the country you’re intending to travel to.

Taken from the Govt Guidance & Support for Govid https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass?

Press release updated on 26th August, 2021