NHS COVID-19 PASSPORT, What is it? How does it work?

As the government aims to begin foreign travel by 17th May there is an almost certainty that there are implications to be able to travel abroad.

The NHS COVID-19 app is similar to the standard NHS app in which consumers can provide all their information regarding prescriptions and order based on the information given on the app. The difference is with the COVID-19 app it will show exactly when a traveller has had a vaccine and how many they have had. It is hoped that with this it can work similarly to the E-Passport on the newer UK passports.

How does it work?

If successful, the app will use a QR code or similar on arrival which will provide information about your COVID-19 vaccine history.

Unfortunately, however, it is not an automatic process and each method would require manual input. It is possible to see all of your history about when and where a traveller has got the jab however it is required to have a full detailed record from your GP regarding this.

Implementing the app

Although the app is a good idea especially for travel it will take a lot longer than the government accepted timeframe of 17/05/2021. There is the question of supply and demand, for example, if the demand for travel has drastically improved as a result of the successful vaccine then the demand for confirmation from the GPs in order to put the information on the app will also increase. Similarly, this app is only a UK accepted app at this moment in time and would vary on whether or not a certain country accepts this as a valid exception for travel. As the vaccine has yet to majorly impact the younger generations it will also be a while before they will be able to travel too as there will be a delay in getting the vaccine and confirming results.


The NHS COVID-19 app is a positive step forward however it is arguable whether or not it is a perfect fit for our travel worries remains to be in question. If the technology is fast and efficient it would allow a few to travel but would put more pressure on GP's to have this full health check and similarly more pressure on the NHS to continue their vaccine rate.

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