For many in England, Monday brought some long-awaited lockdown changes; finally, we can hug our neighbours and dine indoors. But, probably the most anticipated lifting of lockdown restrictions was for international travel.
To satisfy both the UK and international requirements for travel, the NHS has worked diligently and finally completed the vaccine passports, which are now available for download.
Travel restrictions lifted in England
Just in time for summer, England residents can travel overseas recreationally and enjoy long-awaited and much deserved holidays. However, just because travel is now permitted doesn’t mean the threat of COVID has disappeared. As such, all international travel is currently operating under a traffic light system that designates foreign destinations a rating of green, amber or red, depending on their COVID risk level.
Those wanting to travel to green-light countries will not need to quarantine on return. On the other hand, amber countries will require a 10-day self-isolation upon return. Returnees from red-light countries will need to isolate in a designated quarantine hotel for at least 14 days.
Additionally, all travel will require negative coronavirus tests both on departure and arrival. Those who have received one or both doses of a coronavirus vaccine may also wish to use their vaccine passports.
COVID-19 vaccine passports now available for download
The NHS smartphone app now has the ability to display a user’s vaccination records - a crucial requirement for the entry of some countries.
If you have already received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, all you need to do is download the official NHS app from your device’s app store. This is not the NHS’s COVID-19 track and trace app, rather the organisation’s original app used for booking and managing healthcare appointments.
The NHS app has provided a COVID vaccine passport update that allows users to share their vaccine status and check their vaccination records. Users will need to have an NHS log in to access their information, and registrations are expected to take longer than usual due to high demand.
Once registered and logged in, vaccine records can then be found in the ‘Your Health’ section, where they can be viewed online or downloaded and printed as a PDF document. The Government website reads:
You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel. For access via the NHS App you do not need to contact your GP.
If you don’t have access to the NHS app and know that the country you are travelling to requires proof of vaccination status, you can call 119 and ask for your vaccine records to be delivered by post.