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How to use the NHS app as your COVID passport


Whether you’re planning to travel abroad this summer or take part in the trend of staycations, you might need to carry proof of your vaccination status with you.

If you’re travelling, each country has its own set of COVID-19 rules, with some countries like Greece allowing entry with proof of a double vaccination, while others require PCR tests and up to two weeks’ quarantine. The main thing to remember is to check the government website for the country you’re visiting before you book any flights.

If you’re able to travel, make sure you take the correct and most official proof of your vaccinations and negative PCR tests. You can always take your little vaccination card as well. But the best way to prove your immunity is with the NHS app.

NHS app vs NHS track and trace app

The NHS COVID-19 app that we were using to scan in at venues during the easing of lockdown has since been found to be somewhat problematic. When restrictions were lifted in July, almost 700,000 self-isolation alerts were sent out in the space of a week, causing many to distrust the app in what was referred to as the "pingdemic".

NHS app or NHS COVID19 app

The NHS app is quite different, although it looks very similar on your homescreen. The NHS app is connected to your NHS account, and requires you to provide your official NHS number or details, and you’ll need to be registered with a GP surgery to access it.

How to get your vaccine passport on the NHS app

Start by searching for “NHS” in the App Store or Play Store to download it to your smartphone or tablet. You’ll then need to sign in by clicking on ‘Continue with NHS login’. Enter your personal details including your email address, phone number, date of birth, postcode and your NHS number. If you don’t know your NHS number or can’t find it, you can still register with your date of birth and other verifiable details.

Once logged in, you’ll be able to access your basic medical information. And to see details of your vaccinations and to get your vaccine passport, you’ll need to further prove your identity by uploading a photo ID. Note: It can take over a week for your identity to be checked and confirmed, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time before you travel to get your account set up.

Covid passport screenshots

If you’ve received both of your vaccinations, you should clearly see an option on the app main screen to ‘Get your NHS COVID Pass’. Click through the steps, selecting either a Domestic pass, for events or travelling locally, or a Travel pass which will be required for international travel.

In both cases, you’ll be given an expiry date of your NHS COVID Pass and the option to download a pdf to have access offline or to have the details emailed to you.

The NHS app was also recently updated to allow you to save your NHS COVID pass to your Apple Wallet so you can access it offline on your chosen device. However, as with the other offline versions, this pass won’t update automatically and you’ll need to login and download a new pass once it expires.

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