Current England’s NHS app will be available to use as a vaccine passport from the 17th of May when the ban in the UK on foreign travel is eased. The new update will contain a separate feature to display coronavirus vaccine records, but only for those who have had both doses of the jab.
The app could be used for travel to countries that currently accept proof of vaccination, instead of a pre-departure test. People should register to use it at least two weeks before traveling.
Please note, the NHS vaccine app is separate from the NHS Covid-19 app, which is used for contact tracing!
A paper version will also be available if you request it by calling 119. This letter can be requested only at least five days after a second vaccine dose and can take five days to arrive.
Globally there are now more than 20 countries that are either easing testing or quarantine requirements for vaccinated passengers. However, travelers need to know that if the local officials do not accept proof of vaccination, they will still need to follow other rules, like getting a negative PCR test.
Last week the UK government announced 12 countries people in England can travel to, without having to quarantine when they return. But not all of these destinations still allow UK tourists. For example, travel to mainland Portugal and the Azores is currently for essential purposes only. The list will be reviewed every three weeks. Countries can be added or removed at short notice.
European officials have also announced plans for an EU-wide Green Digital Certificate. This would allow anyone vaccinated against COVID or who has tested negative or recently recovered from the virus to travel within the region.
Officials hope the certificate will be in place before the summer.
Several companies have been working on apps to make travel easier, including the trade body the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which is piloting Travel Pass. This App is now available for download but travelers will not be able to use it unless their airline is part of a trial. If your airline is participating in one of these trials, they can provide you with instructions on how to use IATA Travel Pass.