How to get your NHS UK COVID travel Pass
The Coronavirus pandemic forced the world into a way of living that we’d not experienced before. After several lockdowns, some travel restrictions started to ease off during summer this year. Despite travel resuming, it’s not like before at all, as now there’s even more detailed requirements to travel like the NHS COVID Pass. If you’re looking to travel soon or planning a 2022 getaway, here’s how to obtain your NHS COVID Pass for travel pass.
First and second COVID vaccines - prerequisite
In order to get your COVID travel pass, you need to be fully vaccinated with both first and second COVID vaccines. You should wait at least eight weeks after the first vaccine before getting the second one. As regulations change often, please check. Once you’ve had your second dose, you must still wait at least 14 days before you can travel, so don’t book anything until after that time.
The NHS COVID travel pass
There’s three ways to get your COVID travel pass — online, via the app or a letter (you can get a letter by going online or by calling 119).
NHS COVID Pass – via NHS online
Access and register your details
Once you’ve had your second vaccine it will take a minimum of about 24 hours before the system updates with details of both vaccines. To register for your COVID pass online, you’ll need NHS number, DOB and postcode. You’ll also need mobile number to receive a security code.
Once you have all your details to hand, you need to upload ID (one of the options provided for example a passport or driver’s license) to prove it’s you as part of the registration. You then need to record a short video with the options to either speak the numbers you’re provided with on-screen, or write them down and show them in the video by holding the paper in front of you. The video can literally be seconds long. If you choose the video option, it’s best to film it against a white background if possible.
Once you are registered, the details of both vaccines become available. Check the dates match with when you had them to make sure there’s no mistakes. Alongside the details, you should see two QR codes — one for each vaccine. You can choose to have this form with the QR codes sent to your email so you can download it and keep it on your phone as a pdf.
Here’s the NHS COVID Pass registration website.
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COVID Pass – via the NHS app
Download and register your details
If you want to use the NHS app to obtain your COVID travel pass, you’ll need to be registered with a GP in England. The app is free to use and is downloadable from the Apple app or Google app stores.
Just like with the online registration, you’ll need a few details – your name, NHS number, postcode, contact number. Once you’ve registered you can check on the homepage for the Get your NHS COVID Pass link and from there you can access your COVID travel pass barcodes. Check the dates of both barcodes match with when you had both vaccines.
NHS COVID Pass letter – apply online or by phone
If you prefer a hard copy physical COVID travel pass document, to confirm your COVID-19 vaccine status, you can choose to have the official letter sent to you by post. You’ll need to visit the online NHS service for obtaining the letter and confirm your details. You’ll also need to confirm your NHS number if you have one.
Here’s the link to the NHS COVID letter service.
As with the other methods above, you’ll need to have you NHS number to hand along with other details. Once you’re confirmed, a letter will be sent to your address on record.
You can also call 119 to obtain your NHS COVID Pass letter.
A little note on vaccine QR codes
If you decide to use the online platform for your pass, when printing your copy, the barcodes will only be valid for 30 days from the date you access them. So, if you’re going away for a second time say 35 days after your first trip, you’ll need to log back into the NHS website and it will update the date. You can then reprint a new one and show this throughout the airport — i.e., to show officials your barcodes. The QR codes will refresh every time you log in. Here’s the link to get your NHS COVID Pass.
Via the NHS app
If you choose the NHS app to obtain your COVID Pass, the barcodes automatically update so you don’t need to log in to refresh the date. You’ll use the app while going through the airport.
Aside from a COVID travel pass, what else do you need to travel these days?
- Digital COVID travel pass — you’ll need to wait until this is active and you can travel.
- Passenger Locator Form — both ways – country depending. The UK forms online can be filled 48 hours before arrival in the UK. If you’ve read my recent travel diary posts, you’ll see I travelled in 2020 to Greece, so here’s the Greek government travel website for its PLF if you need it.
- Proof of negative COVID PCR/antigen test — Generally, you may be required to take a pre-departure and pre-return tests (depending on the country you’re visiting and reside).
There are many variations with regulations changing in most countries so make sure you check beforehand. You should be able to find details on which types of tests you need to take.
Hope this helps!
The above is based on my own experiences with the COVID requirements and documents needed since I travelled in 2021. It’s only informational and cannot be construed as professional advice.
Please always check the NHS or your local government websites for detailed information and updates. There you can check on restrictions and updates to the rules of travel and the COVID pass.
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