Covid passports in the UK explained for domestic and international travel

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As Northern Ireland announces it will be introducing Covid pass requirements in line with Scotland and Wales, The Mirror takes a look at what you need to know depending on where you are in the country

Your covid pass can be used through apps, except for those living in Wales and the Isle of Man
Your Covid pass can be used through apps, except for those living in Wales and the Isle of Man

Northern Ireland has announced that people living there will soon need to show a Covid passport to attend a range of venues and events – but what are the rules in the other UK countries?

The scheme in Northern Ireland is expected to come into effect from November 29 with a two week grace period – after that people without a pass could be given a fine.

Covid Passes allow you to share the details of your vaccination or tests results securely and can provide information about your vaccination when travelling abroad.

It is recommended that all people who are eligible for a Covid Pass familiarise themselves with how to get one.

Do I need a Covid Passport?

The NHS app can be downloaded on most smart phones
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Image:

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock)

All four members of the UK have the power to make their own decisions about how to proceed, meaning that no one rule applies across the entire country.

Will I need a vaccine passport in Northern Ireland?

People in Northern Ireland will need to use the new Covid Passport to enter a range of events and venues.

Nightclubs, food and drink selling hospitality venues, cinemas, concert halls and larger spaces will all require the pass to be shown in order to gain entry.

Larger venues include unseated indoor live events of more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events of more than 4,000 people or any event of more than 10,000 people.

Vaccine passports in Scotland

The locations needing a pass in Scotland are similar to Northern Ireland: Nightclubs, food and drink selling hospitality venues, cinemas, concert halls, indoor live events of more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events of more than 4,000 people or any event of more than 10,000 people.

From the 6th December people will be able to show proof of a negative test rather than just of a vaccination for their passport to be valid.

The Scottish scheme will not be expanded under the current plans, despite the the Scottish First minister Nicola Sturgeon having weighed up whether to add cinemas and other hospitality venues to the places requiring the passes.

Will I need a vaccine passport in Wales?

Wales again has the same requirements as Scotland and Northern Ireland: Nightclubs, food and drink selling hospitality venues, cinemas, concert halls, indoor live events of more than 500 people, unseated outdoor live events of more than 4,000 people or any event of more than 10,000 people.

Wales is different to the other parts of the UK as you cannot get your NHS Covid Pass on the NHS app if you live there, and instead need to get a printed or downloaded copy.

Vaccine passport rules in England

Plans for a Covid Passport have been dropped for England, however people from England can use the NHS app in other parts of the UK that require them.

It is available to people that have been fully vaccinated for two weeks, had a negative lateral flow in the last 48 hours, or have had a positive PCR but have now finished self isolating.

Will I need a Covid Passport to travel abroad?

It is likely that evidence of vaccination will be needed to travel abroad
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Image:

NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The requirements of travelling abroad are ultimately down to the destination country, with one likely to be needed to prove your vaccination status before leaving the UK. Many countries will require that visitors are fully vaccinated, or will waive the need to quarantine if so.

Before departure you will need to make sure you have fulfilled the requirements of both the UK and your destination country.

For the most up to date information about travel, seek out UK government advice.

How to apply for a Covid Passport

You can get the Covid Passport on the NHS app or through the NHS website using your NHS login. It can also be sent as an email or downloaded as a PDF.

People in Wales or the Isle of Man cannot use the NHS app to get their Covid Pass, with people in Wales needing to upload a copy of their passport, full UK driving licence, or full European driving licence.

How to get the vaccine passport app

The Covid Pass can be found on the NHS app, which can be downloaded on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

If you cannot apply digitally you can request a Covid Pass letter to be sent to you through the post.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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