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Posted 29/07/2021

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How to get the NHS COVID Pass and demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status when travelling abroad.

What is the NHS COVID Pass

The NHS COVID Pass lets you show others the details of your COVID-19 vaccine (or vaccines) when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.

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 here.

Who can get an NHS COVID Pass in England

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

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

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.

The government recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel. 

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.

Note that the NHS App is not the same as the NHS COVID-19 app. To be sure click the link above. 

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 here

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.

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 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

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.

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 so make sure you check this before your departure date.

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

Checks to make before departure

  • 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
  • You should always 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
  • Don't forget to also check your passport and travel insurance before you go
  • Why not cover all basis and get the app and a paper copy? Just make sure your paper copy has not expired by your departure date

Information sourced from valid 29/07/2021.

Live in Scotland? Click here for more info.

Live in Wales? Click here for more info.

Happy travels! 

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