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NHS CoVid Pass

On 4 October, the red, amber, green traffic light system was replaced by a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for people arriving in England from the rest of world. Read the rules on entering England from abroad.

This page applies to England. See information about COVID certificates in GuernseyJersey and the Isle of Man.

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’re unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons

There are a small number of exemptions for individuals who have a medical reason which means they should not be vaccinated, and in some cases should not test either. Medical exemption status cannot be based on testing alone.

You can apply for proof of evidence that you have a medical reason why you should not be vaccinated and/or tested. If you are eligible for proof of medical exemption, or a carer obtains this on your behalf, you will be able to use the domestic NHS COVID Pass wherever you need to prove your COVID-19 status.

Currently, businesses and event organisers in England that choose to use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry can decide whether or not to allow in people who self-declare that they are unable to be vaccinated or tested.

Businesses can continue to accept people who self-declare that they are medically exempt until mid December 2021, from which point, have to use the NHS COVID Pass to gain entry in the same way that people who are fully vaccinated do. Your NHS COVID Pass will not show that you have a medical exemption.

You can find out more information including how to apply for the NHS COVID Pass to prove that you’re unable to be vaccinated and/or get tested.

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 or Safari web browser using an Apple iPhone, then you will be able to store your COVID Pass into Apple Wallet. You can already show your COVID-19 status at events and venues in England directly from your Apple Wallet even if your device is offline.

From 23 September, you will also be able to store your COVID Pass for international travel into Apple Wallet, even if your device is offline. You will see the ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ button on your screen within the NHS App. If you store both your international and domestic NHS COVID Passes, you will see 2 separate cards stored in your Apple Wallet.

If you store an offline version of your NHS COVID Pass into your Apple Wallet it will only be valid until the expiry date shown on your COVID Pass. The expiry date will not refresh automatically. This means you will need to store an updated NHS COVID Pass to your Apple Wallet before you next plan to use it if your original COVID Pass is due to expire.

This article was drawn from Government Guidance & Support for Coronavirus 19 – updated on 4th Oct.  For the full details go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_source=698d7ec6-0a4e-4017-9f76-5e9288b9e7f2&utm_content=daily