How to use the NHS COVID Pass to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status when travelling abroad.
Applies to England
NHS COVID Pass: what it is and how to get it
The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) status records in a secure way.
It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad to some countries or territories.
The domestic NHS COVID Pass is no longer available for venues or events to use as a condition of entry
You can get an NHS COVID Pass:
digitally through the NHS App or online via NHS.UK
as a letter sent to you in the post if travelling abroad, if you require an accessible format, language guide or have limited digital skills
You can find out the eligibility requirements on the NHS website.
If you are in the UK armed forces, visit ‘My health care hub’ on the Defence Gateway (login required) to find out how to get your NHS COVID Pass.
The NHS App is not the same as the NHS COVID-19 app
The NHS App has been built to provide access to medical services such as seeing your medical records and booking GP appointments. It has been extended to support functionality to demonstrate COVID-19 vaccination status. The NHS COVID-19 App was developed to help manage the outbreaks of COVID-19 and supported features that told you if you had been near someone who tested positively for COVID-19 or you had been to a location that subsequently registered a number of positive cases.
How to use the NHS COVID Pass when travelling abroad
You can show the vaccination records in your NHS COVID Pass as proof of your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad.
Proof of recovery from prior COVID-19 infection if you have tested positive with an NHS PCR test in the last 180 days is also shown.
You will also need to follow any additional rules set by the country you are travelling to when abroad.
You should register with the NHS App before booking international travel.
Read more information on travelling abroad during COVID-19.
You should check that your first name and your surname on your passport match how they are displayed by your NHS COVID Pass at least 3 weeks before you travel. If the names are different, contact your GP practice to have your details updated. Please note, name changes could result in temporary issues with matching your GP record to your hospital and prescription records.
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.
If you think your vaccination record is incorrect, see what to do if your COVID-19 vaccination record is missing or wrong.
COVID-19 booster vaccinations
You should get your COVID-19 booster as soon as you are eligible.
If you receive an XBB booster vaccination in the autumn 2023 campaign, this will not show in the NHS COVID Pass.
You will see a 2D barcode for each vaccination record.
Your vaccinations will show in reverse order, with the most recent first. This is also the case if you download a PDF of your NHS COVID Pass for travel, or store it within the Apple Wallet or Google Pay Wallet.
In advance of planned travel, you should download an offline copy of your NHS COVID Pass, by saving or printing a PDF or storing a card in your Apple Wallet or Google Pay Wallet.
You will also see your detailed booster vaccination information in the ‘View COVID-19 Records’ section of the NHS COVID Pass within the NHS App and online service.
If you require non-digital proof of your booster vaccination for international travel, you can order an NHS COVID Pass letter via the NHS 119 service or via NHS.UK. Your letter will show a 2D barcode for each vaccination you have received, including booster vaccinations.
Some countries require travellers to demonstrate that they received their primary course of a COVID-19 approved vaccination or booster within a certain time period. Travellers should carefully check requirements before travelling.
Your NHS COVID Pass can be scanned to check and validate your COVID-19 status in over 70 countries and territories, including those in the EU.
Residents in England who have received COVID-19 vaccinations overseas
If you live in England and have had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations administered overseas, you can have your vaccination details added to your NHS Record. You can then generate an NHS COVID Pass for international travel if you meet certain certification requirements.
You can use this service if you or your child are aged 5 years old or over and have an NHS number.
You can use this service if you or your child have had one or more of the following vaccines outside of England:
- AstraZeneca AB (Vaxzevria)
- Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty)
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
- Moderna (Spikevax)
- Institute of India (Covishield)
- Bharat Biotech (Covaxin)
- SinoVac (CoronaVac)
- Beijing Institute of Biological Products (Sinopharm BIBP)
- Novavax (Nuvaxovid)
- Serum Institute of India (Covovax)
- Gamaleya (Sputnik V)
If you received a Sinopharm vaccine, your evidence must show that it was manufactured by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products (BIBP). Other Sinopharm manufacturers are not accepted for this service.
Book an appointment to register your overseas vaccinations
To register your overseas vaccinations, you’ll need to book an appointment at a selected list of vaccination centres across England.
Staff are not able to register your overseas vaccinations unless you book in advance.
Details of your overseas vaccination will then be recorded in the National Immunisation Management System.
If you are registered with a GP in England and were vaccinated in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, you do not need to book an appointment at a vaccination centre as your vaccination event details should flow automatically.
If you need help using this service, read the guidance available on NHS.UK in the first instance. If you still need help answering your query, contact the NHS COVID Pass service by telephoning:
119 from the UK
+44 151 905 0119 from overseas (you will be charged according to your carrier’s rates)
Booking for someone else
You can only book for someone else, such as your child or someone you care for, if you have their consent. You will need to enter their details when booking.
If you book for someone:
aged 18 years old or over – they must attend the appointment
under 18 years old – they do not have to attend the appointment if you go instead of them
Children under 16 years old cannot attend an appointment on their own. They must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or responsible person aged 18 years old or over.
Getting your NHS COVID Pass
Eligible overseas vaccinations will display within your NHS COVID Pass in the same way as vaccines administered under the UK vaccination programme. However, you may see some fields left blank for overseas vaccines.
Your NHS COVID Pass for international travel will show the vaccinations you have received. It may take up to 5 days for vaccines to show in your NHS COVID Pass.
Although you can now have the Gamaleya (Sputnik V) vaccine added to your NHS record for continuation of care purposes, it will not show in your NHS COVID Pass as it is not recognised by the UK government.
Non-eligible overseas vaccinations will not generate an NHS COVID Pass.
Residents in England who have taken part in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials
Further information on the offer can be found by visiting the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) website.
Clinical trial participants who have received additional doses of approved vaccines will see those doses in their NHS COVID Pass for travel via the NHS App and online via NHS.UK. These doses will show in your travel pass alongside your trial vaccinations, with the most recent vaccination received appearing first.
If you need a non-digital NHS COVID Pass for travel, the NHS COVID Pass letter also includes additional ‘top up’ approved vaccinations. You can ask for this via the NHS 119 service or via NHS.UK. The letter should take up to 7 days to arrive after you order it.
Clinical trial participants who have not received additional doses of approved vaccines
If you took part in a clinical trial within England which was ‘unblinded’ (you were informed of the vaccine used), then you should be able to obtain an NHS COVID Pass for travel if your trial site has uploaded vaccination information onto the NHS vaccine database. If your vaccine records are available and uploaded, then you will see these in your NHS COVID Pass for travel, with your most recent vaccine first.
Participants should contact their clinical trial site if they cannot yet access their travel pass. Before you travel abroad, check the entry rules for any country you want to go to.
If you took part in a clinical trial within England which was ‘blinded’ (you were not informed of the vaccine used), it is recommended that you consider other options for demonstrating your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad, such as additional testing.
NHS COVID Pass digital service
Children aged 5 and over are able to get a digital NHS COVID Pass for international travel.
A digital NHS COVID Pass will:
- provide a record of COVID-19 vaccinations received
- show evidence of prior infection for 180 days following a positive NHS PCR test
See ‘How to use the NHS COVID Pass when travelling abroad’ above.
A digital NHS COVID Pass is available through the:
NHS.UK website for a parent or guardian to request for their child aged 5 to 15
NHS.UK website for those aged 12 and over who want to request it for themselves (as a PDF you can download or print)
NHS App for those aged 13 and over (age restrictions apply for use of the App)
To request an NHS COVID Pass for themselves, the child aged 12 and over will either need to have access to the email address or mobile phone number on their GP record or register for an NHS login. They can do this themselves (or a parent or guardian can help register on their behalf). They will need to:
register using the child’s details (including the child’s email address)
verify the child’s identity using the child’s passport
Verifying identity can take a few days to complete (although it normally takes around 24 hours).
To request an NHS COVID Pass for your child aged 5 to 15, you will need to:
- give the child’s full name, date of birth and NHS number or postcode registered with their GP surgery
- have access to the mobile phone number or email address on the child’s GP record
NHS COVID Pass letter
Children who have had a full primary course of COVID-19 vaccination can get an NHS COVID Pass letter for international travel, with an internationally recognised 2D barcode. Children aged 5 to 11 can also get a recovery letter if they have evidence of a positive COVID-19 NHS PCR test within the last 180 days (not available in the Isle of Man).
This service is available to:
- children living in England under 16
- children living in Wales and the Isle of Man aged 5 to 11 (recovery letter not available in the Isle of Man)
Letters sent to children living in Wales will be in English and Welsh.
Children aged 12 and over living in Wales and the Isle of Man cannot get an NHS COVID Pass letter for travel abroad using this service – they should request letters from those nations’ certification services:
- in Wales, on the Welsh Government website
- in the Isle of Man, by calling 0808 1624 119
This service is not available to those who have received an incomplete course of vaccination (for example, one dose of a 2-dose vaccine).
Requesting an NHS COVID Pass letter
Only a person with legal responsibility for the child (such as a parent or guardian) can request the letter on their behalf. You can request the letter for yourself if you are aged 12 or over.
You can request an NHS COVID Pass letter for travel abroad:
online at Get your NHS COVID Pass letter
by calling the 119 service (0808 1624 119 for residents of the Isle of Man)
on the Welsh Government website, for children living in Wales
You should wait 5 days after the full primary course of vaccination has been completed before requesting a letter. It can then take up to 7 working days for the letter to arrive.
The letter is sent to the address held on the child’s NHS record (the address held by their GP). It will show all the vaccinations they have received. Letters for children aged 5 to 11 will not include details of the administration centre where the vaccination took place, but are still fully valid.
Your GP cannot provide you with this letter.
You should carefully check the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to. Further details on entry requirements can be found on the GOV.UK foreign travel advice pages and on the websites of your destination country.
If you are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons
In line with removing the domestic NHS COVID Pass for use in venues or events as a condition of entry, the medical exemptions service has closed.
A medical exemption is not valid for international travel. There are no arrangements in place with other countries to accept people from the UK who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and treat them the same as a fully vaccinated traveller.
Your medical exemption will not appear in the travel NHS COVID Pass. It is up to other countries to decide whether or not residents in England with a medical exemption can follow the same rules for travel as those who are fully vaccinated.
Protecting your data
Your COVID-19 status is either held securely within the NHS App or sent to you via a PDF or a letter. It can only be accessed via a validated NHS login, or by verifying information held on your GP record. The NHS COVID Pass shows your COVID-19 vaccination or recovery status in the form of a 2D barcode and allows you to view the details of your COVID-19 vaccination or recovery record.
Appropriate technical, organisational, and administrative security measures are employed within our systems to protect any information we hold in our records from loss, misuse, unauthorised access, disclosure, alteration, and destruction. We have written procedures and policies which are regularly audited and reviewed.
Your NHS COVID Pass letter that you request via 119 or NHS.UK has been produced and printed with a range of embedded security features to help prevent fraud.
Read more in these privacy policies about how the NHS COVID Pass uses your information and about your data rights:
What the barcodes and expiry dates mean
On your NHS COVID Pass for international travel you will see one 2D barcode for each vaccination dose.
You will see the barcodes either:
within the NHS COVID Pass in the NHS App
if you save or print a PDF of your NHS COVID Pass
if you save a copy to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay Wallet
on the travel NHS COVID Pass letter
The expiry date does not apply to your vaccination status. The expiry date refers only to the barcode and will update automatically in the digital version of the COVID Pass. The barcodes have expiry dates to protect your data privacy.
However, if you download and save or print a copy of your NHS COVID Pass, the expiry date will eventually show as expired and will not automatically refresh. You will need to log into the NHS COVID Pass service to generate a new copy. Proof of prior infection (recovery) is only valid for 180 days.
If you order a travel NHS COVID Pass letter via the NHS 119 service or online via NHS.UK, the barcodes in your letter will expire after 180 days.
Storing your NHS COVID Pass in Apple Wallet
If you get your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App or Safari web browser using an Apple iPhone, you can store your NHS COVID Pass in Apple Wallet.
You can then show your NHS COVID Pass, even if your device is offline.
To add your NHS COVID Pass to the device’s wallet, tap the ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ button within the NHS COVID Pass service.
If you store an offline version of your NHS COVID Pass into your Apple Wallet it will only be valid until the expiry date shown on the NHS COVID Pass. The expiry date will not refresh automatically. This means you will need to store an updated NHS COVID Pass to your Apple Wallet before you next plan to use it if your original NHS COVID Pass has expired or is due to expire.
Storing your NHS COVID Pass in Google Wallet (officially called Google Pay)
If you get your NHS COVID Pass through the NHS App or by using the Google Chrome web browser on an Android phone, you will be able to store your NHS COVID Pass to your device.
You will see the ‘Google – save to phone’ button within the NHS App.
The NHS COVID Pass will be saved on your Android phone home screen and also accessible in Google Pay. It is available to Play Protect certified mobile devices running Android 5 or above.
You can use the NHS COVID Pass and store it using the Apple Wallet or Google Pay in the Welsh language. Access your COVID Pass using the NHS website and click the ‘Cymraeg’ button at the top of the screen to change the language from English to Welsh.
What the NHS COVID Pass letter tells you: translated versions and alternative formats
The NHS COVID Pass letter for international travel can be used to show others that you have had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine (including a booster vaccination if you have had one) when travelling to some countries or territories.
If you request an NHS COVID Pass letter, the letter you receive will be in English.
You can request a leaflet about the content of the letter and what it tells you in other languages and alternative formats.
You will still need to show the original English letter (not the supporting leaflet) to demonstrate your COVID-19 status when travelling abroad.
The letters are now valid for 180 days from the date you order them. Letters issued before 12 May had a 30-day expiry. You should get them within 7 working days from the date of request.
If you do not have access to a smartphone, computer or tablet, you can call 119 from within the UK. Select the ‘NHS COVID Pass service’ and ask for an NHS COVID Pass letter to be posted to you.
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 for travel abroad in BSL, not including personal details.
If you cannot get an NHS COVID Pass letter
If your letter does not arrive after 7 working days it may be because your address is incorrect on your GP record, your vaccination details were not found, your vaccination details are incorrect or you do not meet the requirements for an NHS COVID Pass letter.
Find out more about who can get an NHS COVID Pass for travel.
If you meet the requirements, it will be quicker to get an NHS COVID Pass digitally through the NHS App or online via NHS.UK. People aged 5 and over can get an NHS COVID Pass via NHS.UK and people aged 13 and over can also get an NHS COVID Pass via the NHS App.
Alternatively, after the 7 working days, you can call 119 to report an issue. You may be referred to the Vaccine Data Resolution Service.
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.