NHS Covid pass explained with the latest updates to the scheme

The NHS Covid Pass is designed to allow people to securely share their Covid status or test results. If you’ve been to England for an evening or gig at a venue, or if you’ve recently traveled abroad, your passport will undoubtedly be asked for.

However, some people find the rules around Covid Passports confusing as recent government updates ask people who can get a passport and where to use it.

Here’s an overview of the NHS Covid Pass rules and the latest updates.

How do I get a Covid Pass?

A Covid Pass can be obtained in two ways, either digitally via the NHS app or on the NHS UK website, or as a letter by post. You can also download and print your pass.

You can get a Covid Pass if you meet one of these criteria:

You have received two doses of an approved vaccine – although the NHS app will show your booster vaccination, it is not yet a requirement to get a Covid Pass but this will likely be updated in the future

· You completed a negative PCR test or negative lateral flow rapid test within the last 48 hours

· You are exempt from vaccinations or vaccinations and tests due to a medical exemption or because you are participating in a clinical study. An exemption must be requested in advance

The NHS recommends that you take your tests as late as possible before the event, and recommends that you do so no more than 12 hours in advance.

How do I use the NHS Covid Pass?

The easiest way to use the Covid Pass is to download the NHS app on your phone. This differs from the Covid-19 app. You should do this a few days before the event or travel if possible.

You can then simply log in with details like your email and date of birth or your NHS number if you have one.

As soon as you have registered, you can choose whether you want to download a “domestic” Covid passport for venues, for example for concerts or sporting events, or a “travel” passport if you are going abroad.

It is worth downloading the pass as a PDF on your phone in case you lose your internet connection when you need to show your pass. You can also save it to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay account.

At the venue, your passport will be scanned to allow you entry, whereas at airports this is usually done when you check in for your flight.

Which venues need a Covid Pass?

Venues that require a Covid Pass include:

· Nightclubs – unless they have closed their dance floor or are hosting an exempt event such as a private party

· Anywhere where alcohol is served after 1am

Indoor events with 500 or more attendees where there is likely to be a crowd standing or moving, e.g. B. a music concert with a standing audience

· Outdoor events with 4,000 participants that involve people moving, such as music festivals

· All events with more than 10,000 participants, either indoors or outdoors

These categories may include musical events, both live and recorded, sporting events, balls, receptions and other social events, trade shows, conferences and other business events that fall under the above categories.

NHS Covid Passports are also accepted at venues in over 40 countries, including the EU.

Which events are excluded from the Covid Pass system?

There are some events that do not require you to show an NHS Covid passport.

You do not need a pass if your event does not meet the above participation thresholds.

You do not need a pass if you want to practice an indoor or outdoor sporting activity, regardless of the number of players.

There are also some events that do not require you to provide evidence of your Covid-19 status in order to attend church services, weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies.

If you are unsure whether you need a Covid Pass, you should contact the venue or organizers in advance or check their website.

How do I use the Covid Pass for trips abroad?

A few additional rules apply to the use of the Covid Pass for international travel. You should definitely register with the app before booking a trip abroad in case you run into any problems.

Make sure your details on the NHS app are correct, including your first and last name, and that they match your passport. If the names are different, you will need to ask your GP practice to update your details. This can take a few weeks.

Carefully check the requirements of the country you are traveling to. The GOV.UK website has foreign travel advice pages, and most countries have their own government pages with relevant Covid advice.

Travelers who are not fully vaccinated may need to meet additional entry requirements to travel abroad, such as: B. Proof of a negative Covid test upon arrival.

You will need to complete a passenger search form online before returning to England unless you are traveling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Do I need a booster to get a Covid Pass?

While the NHS Council recommends getting the booster as soon as possible, you currently only need your first two vaccinations to get a Covid Pass.

Sajid Javid recently said he wanted to give people a “reasonable time frame” to get their booster before making it a requirement for a Covid pass. When this could be the case was not specifically mentioned.

Which vaccines are accepted for issuing a Covid passport?

The following vaccines are accepted under the Covid Pass program:


· AstraZeneca

· Pfizer

· Janssen

What if I received my Covid vaccinations abroad?

People who have received suitable Covid vaccinations abroad should make an appointment to register them at their local vaccination center. They will then be added to your recordings on the NHS app.

If you are registered with a GP in England and have been vaccinated in Scotland, Wales or the Isle of Man, you do not need to make an appointment at a vaccination center. Individuals registered with a GP in England who have had Novavax, Valneva and Medicago vaccinations administered in the UK can also access an NHS COVID passport.

If you need help with this, call 119.

When can I get a Covid Pass?

14 days after completing a full vaccination, you will receive your NHS Covid Pass for use at events and venues in England.

It can take up to 5 days for the vaccines to appear on your records.

Why does my Covid Pass have an expiration date?

You may find that your barcode has an expiration date. Don’t worry, this does not apply to your vaccination status expiring. It just means the expiry date of the barcode, which is regularly updated for security reasons. This will be updated automatically in the NHS app. If you are using a hard copy, you will need to generate a new code and print it out.

If you use an NHS Covid Pass letter, it will expire within 30 days, so you will have to apply for a new one on the 119th.

What is a Covid Pass letter?

If for some reason you cannot access a digital passport, you can request that a Covid Pass letter be mailed to you.

There are two types of letters, one for travel abroad and one for entry to domestic events and venues.

The letters are in English, but there are brochures that explain the contents of the letter in different languages.

You can get Braille or a large print version of the letter through the NHS website or by calling 119.

An audio version of the letter is also available and is supplied on a CD.

Is the Covid Pass safe?

Your Covid-19 status is securely stored on the NHS app. Access is only possible with a validated NHS login.

NHS Covid Passport Letters are created and printed with a number of embedded security features to help prevent fraud.

Do children need a Covid pass?

Children under the age of 18 do not need to provide evidence of their Covid-19 status to enter any domestic event or venue in England.

Fully vaccinated children ages 12-15 can request an NHS Covid Passport letter for international travel. A person with legal responsibility for a child aged 12-15 (such as a parent or guardian) may also request the letter on their behalf.

The NHS Covid Passport letter is not available to children aged 12 to 15 who only received an incomplete vaccination (e.g. 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine).

If you are traveling with children, check your destination country requirements for more information.

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