Guidance

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

How to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status to show that you have had a full course (2 doses) of the COVID-19 vaccine and access this status when travelling abroad.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status: what it is

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.

COVID-19 vaccination status is available if you:

  • have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine (a full course is currently 2 doses of any approved vaccine)
  • were vaccinated in England
  • are aged 16 or over

You can get your vaccination status in digital or paper format.

Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres cannot be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

What you can use it for

You can show your COVID-19 vaccination status as proof of your status when travelling abroad.

Currently, there are not many countries that accept proof of vaccination. So people will still need to follow other rules when travelling abroad, such as getting a negative pre-departure test.

You should:

  • check the entry requirements for your destination country on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages
  • get up-to-date information from the website of your destination country

You may still be required to show other proof like a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, and you may still have to isolate on arrival. You will only be asked to prove your vaccination status for international travel. You should not be asked to prove it for any other reason (for example, by an employer or a venue).

The government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure everyone in the UK is able to show their COVID vaccination status.

If you have not been fully vaccinated

People should continue to follow the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to, such as proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival. You should carefully research the requirements of your destination country before travelling.

Further details on entry requirements can be found on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages and on the websites of your destination country.

See travel advice for British people travelling abroad during the pandemic

How to access your COVID-19 vaccination status

Through the NHS App

You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel. For access via the NHS App you do not need to contact your GP.

The NHS App is not the same as the NHS COVID-19 app.

The NHS App will continue to be developed with further updates in the future. This will include the ability to show your COVID-19 test results.

In the NHS App, your COVID-19 vaccination status includes a barcode. Any expiry date refers only to the barcode and will update automatically. The expiry date does not apply to your vaccination status.

Through the NHS website

You can view your COVID-19 vaccination 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 your COVID-19 vaccination status via the NHS website

Through the NHS website, your COVID-19 vaccination status includes a barcode. Any expiry date refers only to the barcode and will update automatically. The expiry date does not apply to your vaccination status.

Request a vaccination status letter to be posted to you

Request a letter only if you:

  • have been fully vaccinated by the NHS in England (you should wait 5 working days after your second dose)
  • are planning to travel in the next 4 weeks to a country that requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination
  • are aged 16 or over

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.

Request a letter via the NHS website

It can take up to 5 working days from the date of your second dose appointment before the system is updated. So you may need to wait 5 working days before you can use this service. We then expect the letter to take up to 5 working days to reach you.

Request a COVID-19 vaccination status letter via the NHS website

Request a letter by calling 119

If you do not have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet and know that the country you are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you.

We expect the letter to take up to 5 working days to reach you.

GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status.

What the post-vaccination confirmation letter tells you: translated versions

You can get vaccination status information in other languages.

If you do not have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet and know that the country you are travelling to requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you.

The letter you receive will be in English. You can access translations of the letter, not including your personal information, in different languages. These are to help people who read those languages.

You will still need to take the English letter with you because this contains the information about your vaccination status. You do not need your letter in a language to match the country you are intending to travel to.

What the post-vaccination confirmation letter tells you: alternative formats

If you do not have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet and know that the country you are travelling to requires evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you.

The letter you receive will be in English. You should keep the original English language version of your letter as you may be asked to show it if you travel abroad.

You can access the information in a range of alternative formats.

Easy read

Read an easy-read guide about what the post-vaccination confirmation letter tells you.

Braille

You can get a Braille version via the NHS website or by calling 119.

Large print

You can get a large print version via the NHS website or by calling 119.

Audio format

You can get an audio version 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)

Watch a video about the post-vaccination confirmation letter in BSL, not including personal details.

Watch a video about the vaccination confirmation letter in BSL

COVID-19 vaccination status: if you cannot get a post-vaccination letter

If the 119 service cannot provide you with a letter there may be some information that is either missing or incorrect. The service will write to inform you if this is the case.

If you cannot get a post-vaccination letter: translated versions and alternative formats

The letter you receive will be in English. You can check your vaccination record and follow instructions in various translations of the letter, not including your personal information, in different languages. These are to help people who read those languages.

You can access the information in a range of alternative formats.

Easy read

Read an easy-read guide about what to do if you cannot get a post-vaccination letter.

Braille and large print

To get this letter in braille or in large print, please call 119.

British Sign Language (BSL)

Watch a video about this letter in BSL.

Watch a video about what to do if you cannot get a post-vaccination letter in BSL

Using the NHS App

To use the COVID-19 vaccination status service within the NHS App, you must be:

We recommend that you register with the NHS App:

  • before booking your international travel
  • at least 2 weeks before your departure date and once you’ve had a full course of vaccinations, which is currently 2 doses of an approved vaccine

Find out more about the NHS App

Protecting your data

Your COVID-19 vaccination status is held securely within the NHS App, and can only be accessed via the NHS login service.

The COVID-19 vaccination service only shows your COVID-19 vaccination status in the form of your vaccination record.

The COVID-19 vaccination status service can be accessed via the NHS App or NHS.UK.

When you access your COVID-19 vaccination status via the NHS App, or directly via the NHS website, you will need to use your NHS login. NHS login has advanced security features to protect you and minimise any risk of fraud. Your vaccination status displays your vaccination record only and no other personal health records or data.

All the information displayed is derived from the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) database operated by NHS England. The COVID-19 vaccination status service does not capture any new information. All it does is enable secure access to your immunisation records within NIMS and use a small subset of that information (NHS number, name and COVID vaccination history) to enable the creation of a 2D barcode that can later be shown when travelling abroad. The service has been developed in strict compliance with GDPR and privacy regulations.

Your COVID-19 post vaccination status letter that you request via 119 has been produced and printed with a range of embedded security features to help prevent fraud. It includes a barcode which provides a unique reference that can be used to verify your individual COVID vaccination record.

In the future, it will also show your COVID-19 test results.

NHS App privacy policy

Status service privacy notice

Children

Children cannot get COVID-19 vaccination status, as children are not currently being vaccinated against COVID-19.

If you’re travelling abroad, you and any children you’re travelling with may need to show proof of a COVID-19 test, with or without a completed vaccination course.

See the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages for guidance on the entry requirements of your intended destination country.

Published 7 May 2021
Last updated 15 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added video in British Sign Language about what to do if you cannot get a post-vaccination letter.

  2. Added information about what to do if you cannot get a post-vaccination status letter.

  3. You can now request a COVID-19 vaccination status letter to be posted to you via the NHS.UK website.

  4. Added link to easy-read version of the COVID-19 post-vaccination confirmation letter.

  5. Updated information on how to access your COVID-19 vaccination status on the NHS website and NHS app.

  6. Updated to add a link to a video about the post-vaccination confimation letter in BSL.

  7. This page has been updated to reflect the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination status service and includes information on obtaining information in foreign languages and alternative formats.

  8. Updated to reflect that if you call 119 to request a letter about your vaccination status, we expect the letter to take up to 7 working days to reach you.

  9. Updated to reflect that you must wait at least 5 working days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine before asking for a letter confirming your vaccination status to be posted to you. The letter can take up to 5 working days to reach you. It will be sent automatically to the address registered with your GP.

  10. Updated to reflect that if you're aged 13 to 15, you'll need to contact your GP surgery to request access to GP online services before you can use the NHS App.

  11. Updated to reflect that you should register with the NHS App before booking your international travel.

  12. First published.

  1. Step 1 Plan your trip

  2. Step 2 Get your passport, visas and permits ready

    How much time you need on your passport depends on the country you're visiting. Check the entry requirements for the country you want to travel to.

    1. Check your passport has enough time left on it for the country you're visiting
    2. Renew or replace your passport
    3. Get a passport for your child

    You may also need a visa to enter some countries.

    1. Check if you need a visa or permit
  3. Step 3 Get travel insurance and check if you need vaccinations or inoculations

  4. Step 4 Travel safely and check for travel disruption

  5. Step 5 Going through border control

    You may need to show paperwork such as your passport or visa. You may also need a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result or demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status at the point of entry.

    1. Check the entry requirements for the country you are travelling to or transiting through
  6. Step 6 When you are abroad

  7. Step 7 Return to the UK

  8. and When you arrive in the UK