August 14, 2022

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The Government is pressing ahead with mandatory coronavirus vaccine passes for some events in England...

The Government is pressing ahead with mandatory coronavirus vaccine passes for some events in England as it activates “Plan B” due to the spread of the omicron variant.
As of December 15, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather. 
The venues include unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
The smartphone passes, which show whether a person has had a vaccine or a recent negative test, have already been used for entry into some large events and in overseas travel since vaccines have been widely available. MPs voted 369 to 126, with a majority 243, to approve their mandatory use.
Sajid Javid informed the Commons that “once all adults have had a reasonable chance to get their booster jab”, the Covid pass will require three doses of a vaccine.
The Health Secretary stated that it is the government’s aim to “try to offer all adults a chance to get boosted by the end of the month”, however he added that “that does not mean every person necessarily can get that booster” – before ultimately noting that the booster plan is on track.
Boris Johnson set out the measures in a press conference on December 8, when he also confirmed that mandatory mask wearing would be extended to public places including cinemas and theatres from December 10.
Here is everything you need to know about downloading and using the NHS Covid Pass.
What is a Covid pass?
A Covid pass, or vaccine passport, should allow those who have had two jabs to travel more easily or access large events. Some countries have made having proof of a vaccine or a recent test a prerequisite for entry.
The NHS app also now allows those who have received a third dose or booster to demonstrate their status, with countries such as Israel, Austria and Croatia requiring visitors to have had a dose within a time period.
In the UK, you can also get a domestic Covid pass by having a test, or if you have had coronavirus in the last 180 days.
The UK’s Covid vaccine pass is part of the official NHS app – not the separate NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app. 
The NHS Covid pass can also be stored in the Apple or Google Wallet.
How do I download the NHS app?
The official NHS app is available to download for most smartphones. The app you’ll need to download to access the vaccine passport scheme is simply called “NHS App”. 
The contact tracing app, called NHS COVID 19, is separate and will not include vaccine passports.
Open your App Store if using an iPhone, or the Google Play Store on an Android phone. Search for “NHS App” and it should be the top result.
The app is compatible with most Android smartphones. Any device running Android 5.0 and higher will be able to download and use it.
What do you need for a Covid pass?
The following Covid tests or vaccines are accepted to give users a complete Covid pass.

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Two doses of the Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Janssen vaccine in England. The vaccines must be in use in the UK. The pass will be ready shortly after your final dose of the vaccine. According to Sajid Javid, once all UK adults have had a chance to receive their booster jab, the Covid pass will require three doses of a vaccine – in an attempt to battle the Omicron variant.
A report of a positive PCR test within the last six months – valid for 180 days after you’ve finished self-isolating.
For domestic events only: A negative PCR or lateral flow test within 48 hours, which can activate as soon as you complete the test. This test needs to be registered online using the Register My Test Result service. A response may take up to two hours.

What about booster jabs?
For travel abroad, the NHS app can also demonstrate proof of a booster or third dose, and show up automatically if a vaccine record has been entered.
How does the app work?
The NHS app works by allowing people to register details such as their name, postcode and NHS number to link the app with their health record held by their GP.
This information is then shown in the app once people have logged into it, allowing them to see their vaccination record as well as other medical information such as allergies and appointment records.
To find your vaccination status in the app, users can click the tab “your health” or click on the service “get your NHS Covid pass”. 
You will then be presented with a digital barcode, which can be presented at an event or when you travel for confirmation. 
This can be downloaded as a PDF, or you can ask for it to be sent to your email address. You can also add it to Apple or Google Wallet, meaning it is stored within the Apple Pay or Google Pay section of your phone. To do this, select your Covid pass and click “Add to Apple Wallet” or “Google – save to phone”.
Where will the Covid pass allow me to go? 
Covid passes will be required for nightclubs, unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
There have been concerns that widespread introduction of Covid passes in pubs and offices would be discriminatory and the Government has not yet advised its use in these instances.
Several ministers have previously stated that they are uneasy about the implications for privacy and individual freedoms.
Are NHS vaccine passports accepted abroad?
Many countries, including the United States, those in the European Union, and countries such as Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Israel, accept the NHS Covid pass for travel. It is accepted in more than 80 countries across the world.
You should check the entry requirements of individual countries on the Government website for the latest information.
How much of my personal data will be shared with the app?
Using the NHS app requires a certain amount of personal data. This can include your name, phone number, post code, although not your exact location, and email address. You can also enable other features such as facial recognition for logging into the app. 
Will I be able to turn location tracking off?
The app will not need to track your exact location. It will simply show a form confirming your vaccine status. The current NHS app does use location services data. 
What if I do not have a smartphone?
If you don’t have a smartphone, the Government can send you a letter with your vaccine status on it. You can call 119 to speak to the NHS who can then send you an official note. This will take at least five working days.
What about children?
Individuals under 18 are generally not required to show their Covid status, however, on Monday 13 December, it was announced that the NHS Covid Pass is to be rolled out to 12-to-15-year-olds for travel purposes. Until now, the Covid Pass had only been available to those aged over 16.
How do vaccine passports work in other countries?
Israel has given inoculated citizens a Green Pass so they can use gyms and hotels. The system allows citizens who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or who have had a recent negative test to congregate in venues that have been closed for months such as theatres and nightclubs.
Can I get an NHS Covid Pass if I have been vaccinated abroad?
UK residents vaccinated abroad can use the NHS Covid Pass – as long as they’ve received two doses of an approved jab, which currently are AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Janssen and Moderna. These individuals are also able to book a booster jab.
Previously, many vaccines administered in foreign countries or at overseas vaccine centres would not work if you uploaded them to the app. Ministers promised in July to fix this issue, but many people were still complaining the app did not work for them.

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