What is the NHS COVID Pass?
The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus vaccination status in a secure way. It 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 or domestically.
From 19 November 2021, your COVID Pass includes your COVID-19 booster vaccination if you have had one. There may be a slight delay between any vaccination appearing on your COVID pass but it should show up within 2 weeks.
When and where should I expect to need to show my NHS COVID Pass?
Using it when travelling abroad
You can show your NHS COVID Pass as proof of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad. You may also need to show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test and also isolate when travelling abroad, depending on the requirements of individual countries.
Your NHS COVID Pass can now be scanned to verify your COVID-19 vaccination status across venues and events in over 40 countries. Previously, most EU countries accepted the NHS COVID Pass but only a few were able to scan them. This agreement will now allow the UK and all EU member states to scan their respective citizens’ COVID vaccination status using the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC). It will make it easier for UK citizens to get into museums, restaurants and other venues requiring proof of vaccination across the EU and over 20 other countries.
Read more about the EU's DCC here.
If you have downloaded or printed a PDF of your NHS COVID Pass before 1 November, you will need to print or download a new PDF if you intend to use this when travelling to the EU, and remember to keep it up-to-date.
If you have stored your NHS COVID Pass in the Apple Wallet using your Apple iPhone, then you will need to store an updated version from 1 November.
PDF copies downloaded before 1 November are not able to be scanned by your travel operator when travelling abroad.
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.
Using it domestically
Since 27 January, it is no longer mandatory for venues to require attendees to demonstrate their COVID-19 status. However, some venues or events may still choose to require proof of COVID-19 status as a condition of entry to reduce risk for attendees and staff. You will be able to show vaccination status, a negative test (PCR or lateral flow) taken in the past 48 hours or exemption through the NHS COVID Pass. The domestic NHS COVID Pass does not recognise natural immunity.
From 1 April, the Government will remove the current guidance on domestic voluntary COVID-status certification and will no longer recommend that certain venues use the NHS COVID Pass.
Changes to the NHS COVID Pass from 12 May
From 12 May 2022 the domestic NHS COVID Pass will no longer be available.
This means that venues and events will no longer be able to request it as a condition of entry.
In line with this change, from 12 May the medical exemptions service will no longer accept new applications from people who want to use the domestic NHS COVID Pass to prove they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. GPs will have until 11 July to process any applications received by 12 May.
The NHS COVID Pass for international travel will continue to be available as normal.
How to access your NHS COVID Pass
The NHS COVID Pass is available if you are 18 and over, registered with a GP and meet one of the following conditions:
- It has been at least two weeks since your second vaccination
- You have had a negative PCR or lateral flow test result in the past 48 hours and reported it on the NHS Website.
- You have had a positive PCR test result in the past six months and finished self-isolating.
For domestic purposes: You can access your NHS COVID Pass 2 weeks after having your full course of the vaccine.
For use while travelling abroad: 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.
Accessing it 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.
The NHS COVID Pass will show that you have had a full course of vaccinations, that you recently tested negative, or that you had a positive PCR test in the previous 6 months.
Access it 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.
Alternative ways of accessing the NHS COVID Pass
- Request a COVID Pass letter via the NHS website
Request an NHS COVID Pass letter by calling 119
Why does my COVID Pass have an expiry date?
If your Covid Pass is based on a negative test, it will expire after 48 hours, as you may have caught Covid within this time.
If your pass is based on a positive PCR test, it relies on the presence of antibodies in your immune system, which may diminish after some time. This pass is therefore valid for 6 months.
If your pass is based on your vaccine status, it is not set to expire according to current regulations. The QR code associated with it however must be refreshed, which is why you may see an expiry date.
Your vaccination status is obtained FREE through the NHS App, website or by calling the NHS on 119.
If you receive an email that looks like this image, do NOT click on it. It is a SCAM!
Guidance in accessible formats
Braille and large print
You can get a Braille or large print version of the NHS COVID Pass letter via the NHS website or by calling 119.
You can get an audio version of the NHS COVID Pass letter via the NHS website or by calling 119. Your letter and the audio file on a CD will be sent directly to you. It should arrive within 7 working days.
British Sign Language (BSL)