How to use the NHS Covid pass for travel

Some countries require proof of vaccination for entry (Picture: Getty)

UK citizens heading abroad can use the NHS app as a vaccine certificate when travelling to countries that require proof of Covid-19 vaccination for entry.

The NHS app, which is different from the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app, is already available to download and can be used to show your vaccine history, allowing people who have had both jabs to enter countries such as Spain.

But how do you get the Covid vaccine pass, and what do you do if you don’t have a smartphone?

Here is all you need to know before jetting off on holiday.

How to download the NHS app for travel

Owned and run by the NHS, the app is free and available to download by anyone aged 13 and over who is registered with a GP in England.

You can download it through the Apple App Store and Google Play. You can also access NHS App services from the browser on your desktop or laptop computer by going to nhs.uk/app.

You can download the app straight onto your smartphone (Picture: Getty)

You will need an NHS login to use this service. If you do not have one you can set one up for free here.

You’ll be asked for your NHS number to create an account.

Being able to show proof that you have had the vaccine will grant you entry to some countries, but you will still need to follow the government’s travel rules when leaving and returning to the UK.  

Official guidance states: ‘Demonstrating your Covid-19 vaccination status allows you to show others that you’ve had a full course of the Covid-19 vaccine when travelling abroad to some countries or territories. A full course is currently two doses of any approved vaccine.

‘You can access your Covid-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from 17 May. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or by tablet.’

It is recommended that you register with the app before booking any travel.

However, the NHS has said that the app doesn’t work on some older smartphones.

An NHS statement reads: ‘Older models of Apple (iPhone 5S and iPhone 6/6Plus or earlier) and Android phones that do not support iOS 13.5 or Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) and higher will not be able to use the app.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

How to get a Covid vaccine pass if you don’t have a smartphone

No smartphone? No problem – you can still go on your dream holiday.

If you have had both your vaccines in England, then you can apply to receive a NHS Covid pass letter, which proves your vaccination status.

You can use the letter for both travel and domestic purposes.

You can apply for this letter on the NHS website, or call the NHS helpline on 119.

There are separate order forms for Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland has not launched a paper scheme yet.

Make sure you apply for the letter well ahead of time, as it can take five working days to arrive at the address registered with your GP.

You can apply for a NHS Covid pass letter if you would prefer that to the app (Picture: Getty)

How to use the NHS Covid pass for travel

To use the app, you simply need to show your unique QR code to officials when asked.

Your vaccine status will automatically be added to your account when you log in – you will not have to manually enter your vaccine details.

To do this, you need to open the app, select ‘Get your NHS COVID Pass’, select ‘continue’, select ‘Travel’, and then click on ‘show details’ under your name.

The QR code will then appear on your screen – hold it up to the offical to scan.

Alternatively, you can download a PDF copy ahead of time, or choose to receive an offline copy via email.

These options are on the same page as the ‘show details’ option.

You can then show the PDF or offline copy to an official to scan.

The same goes for the NHS Covid pass letter. Make sure you bring it to the airport with you to show officials when requested.

It is important to note that many countries also require proof of a negative test to allow entry, so make sure you check the entry requirements of the country you are planning to visit.


MORE : Eric Clapton threatens to cancel UK tour over Covid vaccine passports in stand against ‘discriminating audiences’


MORE : Sky News presenter forced to apologise after guest launches into foul-mouthed rant over Covid passports

Follow Metro across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Share your views in the comments below