Covid-19 Tests for Travel| September 02, 2021

Everything you need to know about the NHS COVID Pass

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NHS Covid Pass: How it works

What is an NHS COVID Pass?

The NHS COVID Pass is a form of proof of your COVID-19 status. The NHS COVID Pass is not solely a ‘vaccine passport’. When it comes to domestic use, you can get an NHS COVID Pass through testing (either an LFD or PCR test), natural immunity, or an exemption. However, when it comes to travel, the primary use of the NHS COVID Pass is to show your coronavirus vaccination details - i.e. to prove to others that you have been fully vaccinated.

When you enter the NHS App to access the pass, it will clearly ask you whether you require an NHS COVID Pass that is for travel or domestic purposes.

Who can get an NHS COVID Pass?

Firstly, you must be aged 16 or over. You are only eligible to travel with an NHS COVID Pass 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).

You can usually obtain your pass within 24 hours of having your vaccination and you must have been vaccinated in England, Wales or Scotland.

How do I access the NHS COVID Pass?

You can access your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, or alternatively call 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’) to request a letter.

You need to be registered with a GP in England to use the NHS App.

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 only valid until its expiry date.

The importance of getting vaccinated

Regulators rigorously evaluate scientific and clinical evidence provided by COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers. Each vaccine is thoroughly assessed for safety, efficacy and pharmaceutical quality to determine whether it can be used in the wider population.

As the World Health Organization (WHO) states, the speed of development of COVID-19 vaccines has been unprecedented, but the public should have confidence in the rigour of the process used to scientifically evaluate the safety, efficacy and quality of vaccines. If you would like to read more on how a vaccine is made, stored and approved for production click here.

After you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you can resume many activities that you did before the pandemic - particularly when it comes to travel. The NHS Covid Pass allows fully vaccinated adults to avoid quarantine when they return from amber list countries - meaning you no longer need to take a Day 8 test and removes the need to self-isolate for 10 days.

As more and more people become fully vaccinated, rules and requirements may continue to change, however the value of getting your NHS COVID Pass will certainly remain.


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