The European Union and the United Kingdom have launched COVID-19 passports for all EU citizens and Britons to show their vaccination status and test results.
The EU and UK COVID passports are launched in late June; both aim to restore travel freedom and show coronavirus testing and vaccination details.
What is the EU COVID-19 Passport/Certificate?
It is a one-piece document that is issued to EU citizens or travellers in paper and digital format. It can be shown to the border guards or be presented at border controls in paper format or technological devices such as tablets or smartphones.
Certificates contain a machine-readable QR code to securely verify the holder’s identity, digital signature, and certificate validity. Depending on an individual’s status, there are three types of COVID-19 passports launched:
- Vaccination Passport – The EU vaccination passport will be issued to those who have been fully inoculated against the coronavirus. It will prove that the holder has been vaccinated and contain additional information about the vaccine, such as doses administered and the manufacturer.
The vaccines approved by the European Medicine Agency are Corminaty (BioNTech, Pfizer), Moderna, Vaxzevria (previously known as Oxford, AstraZeneca), and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
- Test Certificate – Travellers can obtain this certificate if they get tested for COVID-19 with pcr test or rapid antigen test, and the results return negative.
- Recovery Certificate – The recovery certificate is proof of recovery from coronavirus, and holders shall be permitted to travel with this.
The European Union created the European COVID-19 travel certificate to restore freedom of travel and remove travel restrictions such as quarantine, testing, and entry bans. It is available in all 27 member nations, including Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein.
Where can I obtain EU Vaccine Passport?
The certificates are issued by qualified bodies of the EU and Schengen country which can be obtained in the country where you got vaccinated. These bodies might be hospitals, test centres, health authorities, etc.
Who can get EU Vaccine Passport?
While this certificate is available for EU nationals and citizens, it is also available to non-EU nationals residing in member states. They will need to apply for the document through their destination Member State. However, it will not be available for most Britons as UK is no longer in the EU.
What is the UK COVID Passport?
The NHS COVID Pass is part of the NHS app that allows users to access various UK’s National Health Service features. This pass will show the user’s COVID-19 test results and vaccination status.
The NHS pass is accepted in over 30 EU countries, including Greece, Spain, and Malta. The UK’s Traffic Light System for travel displays the countries where Britons can travel using the NHS COVID pass. Still, travellers are advised to stay updated about travel restrictions in their destination choice.
Like the EU COVID Certificate, it will allow travellers to travel without the need for quarantine and will simplify the verification of traveller’s immunity status.
How can I get an NHS COVID Pass?
- Digital version – You can get a digital version using the NHS app or website. In downloading the app, you must be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can download it in PDF format or get it sent to you via email.
To use these services, you must have an NHS login or create one if you do not have an NHS login yet. You can check its validity or an expiry date in the PDF file. The NHS login has advanced security features to protect you and prevent any fraudulent acts.
- Paper version – You can get an NHS COVID Pass letter sent directly to your doorstep. However, this version only shows vaccination status and does not show coronavirus testing results. It can be used at various venues in England where proof of vaccination status is needed. You will not need to register with a GP surgery or have an NHS login.
Who can get NHS COVID Pass?
People in England aged 18 or above can get an NHS COVID pass for domestic venues and events. Individuals aged 16 or over can get the pass for traveling abroad but are strictly advised to follow the country’s entry requirements.