How to get the NHS COVID Pass and demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status when travelling abroad and domestically at events and venues in England.
If you’re coming from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated in Europe or the USA, follow the amber list quarantine and testing rules.
NHS COVID Pass: what it is
The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.
It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 vaccine (or vaccines) when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.
From Monday 19 July, you may be asked to demonstrate your COVID-19 status at places that use the service in England as a condition of entry to a venue or event.
What you can use it for
You can show the vaccination records contained within your NHS COVID Pass as proof of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad.
In addition to your NHS COVID Pass, you will need to follow additional rules 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.
The government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure everyone in the UK is able to show their COVID-19 status.
If you have not been fully vaccinated, you should continue to follow the entry requirements of the country you 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.
Domestic use in England
The government has recently announced that businesses in England can use the NHS COVID Pass.
Some events and venues may choose to ask for the NHS COVID Pass. The government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this.
Use of the NHS COVID Pass is voluntary for individual organisations. However, we encourage the use of the NHS COVID Pass in facilities or events where people are likely to be in close proximity to a large number of people from other households for a sustained period of time.
This is likely to include settings that have the following characteristics:
crowded indoor settings such as nightclubs and music venues
large unstructured outdoor events such as business events and festivals
very large structured events such as business events, music and spectator sport events
This means that you may need to show your NHS COVID Pass at places that use this service.
Who can get an NHS COVID Pass in England
If you’re aged 18 or over, you can get an NHS COVID Pass for domestic venues and events.
If you’re aged 16 or over, you can get an NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad but you should follow the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to.
For travel abroad
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.
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.
For domestic use
For domestic purposes, those 18 and over can obtain an NHS COVID Pass if one of the following applies:
2 weeks after completing a full course of vaccination, whether that requires 2 doses or one dose (that is, 2 doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or 1 dose of the Janssen vaccine) (according to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency authorised schedule).
with evidence of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid lateral flow test taken within 48 hours of entry to a venue, with both at-home and on-site (where available) being accepted. A lateral flow test taken at home will need to be reported into the public reporting system
proof of natural immunity shown by a positive PCR test result for COVID-19, lasting for 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period
You must have been vaccinated in England.
Exemptions for domestic use
If you have received a trial vaccine as part of a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK, you will be able to prove your status through the NHS COVID Pass or with a letter confirming your participation in the trial from your trial site.
If you have a medical reason which means you cannot be vaccinated or tested, you may be asked to self-declare this medical exemption.
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. Proof of your COVID-19 status will be shown within the NHS App.
You need to be registered with a GP in England to use the NHS App. If you’re not registered with a GP, you can still access the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS website (NHS.UK) or via 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’) to request a letter.
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.
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.
If you obtain your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App using an iPhone or iPad, then you will be able to store your COVID Pass using the Apple Wallet. You can then use this to show your COVID-19 status at events and venues in England, but not for international travel.
You will see the ‘store in your Apple Wallet’ tab on your screen within the NHS App. If you store a PDF version of your COVID Pass in your Apple Wallet please note the expiry date – the PDF version will expire after 30 days. It will only refresh in the NHS App itself. This means you may need to download an updated NHS COVID Pass before you next need to use it.
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.
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.
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.
A full course of vaccine requiring one dose will be displayed as a single barcode.
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 obtain an NHS COVID Pass at age 16 plus but do not need one to access venues or events in England if you are under 18 years of age.
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
We 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.
The COVID-19 post-vaccination letter was rebranded from 5 July. It now displays the title ‘NHS COVID Pass’ and the logos of all 4 nations instead of just the NHS logo.
If you got a COVID-19 post-vaccination letter before 5 July, this is still valid. You do not need to apply for a new version.
If you intend to use the letter when travelling abroad, other countries will treat the old version of the letter in the same way as they treat the new one.
You should 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.
GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 status.
What the NHS COVID Pass letter tells you: translated versions and alternative formats
The NHS COVID Pass letter you receive will be in English.
You can get information about what the letter tells you in other languages and alternative formats.
However, you’ll still need to show the original English letter to demonstrate your COVID status, for example when travelling abroad. You do not need your letter in a language to match the country you’re intending to travel to.
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 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’).
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)
Watch a video about the NHS COVID Pass letter in BSL, not including personal details.
If you cannot get an NHS COVID Pass 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 an NHS COVID Pass letter: translated versions and alternative formats
The letter you receive in the post 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 also access the information in a range of alternative formats.
Braille and large print
To get this letter in Braille or large print, please call 119 (select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’) or order the letter online via the NHS website.
British Sign Language (BSL)
Watch a video about this letter in BSL.
Protecting your data
Your COVID-19 status is held securely within the NHS App. It can only be accessed via the NHS login service.
The NHS COVID Pass only shows your COVID-19 vaccination status in the form of a 2D barcode, which allows you to view your vaccination record.
The digital version of the NHS COVID Pass service can be accessed via the NHS App or NHS.UK.
When you access your NHS COVID Pass 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 NHS COVID Pass 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-19 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 NHS COVID Pass 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.
Residents in England who have taken part in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials
If you have taken part, or are taking part, in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in England you should have received a letter from your clinical trial site. The letter ensures that anyone vaccinated as part of a COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial can prove they were in a clinical trial and therefore should be recognised as fully vaccinated.
In addition, if you have participated in a clinical trial within England you should also be able to use the NHS App or NHS.UK to obtain an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use in England.
The letter and NHS COVID Pass can be used when demonstrating your COVID-19 status in England. If you wish to travel abroad, then you will need to continue to seek guidance on COVID-19 status requirements for the destination country you intend to travel to.
You may not be able to use the letter for international travel, but for most countries, there are alternatives such as additional testing.
If your letter has not arrived, or you are not able to get an NHS COVID Pass for use at event trials in England, please contact the clinical trial site where you took part in the clinical trial.
From 28 July 2021, those participating in clinical trials who received a full dose of the Novavax vaccine, will now be able to use the NHS COVID Pass to demonstrate their COVID-19 status. For those participating in unblinded clinical trials, where information is held on the vaccine received, participants can now show their COVID-19 status using the NHS COVID Pass via the NHS App, or by ordering a NHS COVID Pass letter via 119 or online using the NHS.UK
We are working with the devolved administrations to ensure a consistent UK approach. We are also working to ensure that those who participated in COVID-19 vaccine trials can access their vaccine records via the NHS App or NHS.UK
This commitment was made by the Deputy Chief Medical Officer in an open letter on 11 June 2021.
Children are not currently being vaccinated against COVID-19.
Therefore, those under 18 should not have to demonstrate their COVID-19 status for entry to domestic events or venues.
See the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages for guidance on the entry requirements of your intended destination country.