Vaccine Passports: What do you really know?

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Autumn 2021

What do you really know about vaccine passports? Due to the growing topic and conversation around Covid passes, we want to give you the inside scoop on all current guidelines and how this will effect us all here in the UK! Here are our 5 facts to help you navigate your way in these uncertain times.

(All our information is hyperlinked to official sources. Remember, this information can date quickly!)

Do I need a vaccine passport in the UK?

So where do you need a vaccine passport? Although vaccine passports are not currently in use in England or Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales do require them! In Wales, you must show an NHS Covid Pass for entry to nightclubs, unseated indoor venues and any event for more than 10,000 people.

From the 15th November, you must also show your vaccine passport for entry to cinemas, theatres and concert halls.

In Scotland, the rules are that you must also show your vaccine pass for entry to nightclubs and events for more than 10,000 people, as well as indoor events for more than 500 people, and unseated outdoor events for more than 4,000 people.

Under 18s don’t panic! You are not expected to show a Covid Pass for entry to venues in either country, so no need to worry if you are unable to be vaccinated!

Something to remember: If you’re in Wales, don’t worry if you haven’t had the chance to get vaccinated – they will also accept negative lateral flow tests!

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Where am I allowed to travel?

Well, there’s some good news for anyone who’s been craving some hot summer sun! Following advice from official Government guidelines on the GOV.UK page, you are able to enter the UK from ANY country, so we’re making progress! To see what countries are on the Government’s “Green Travel List”, please visit the official Government website for more information. To make things easy for you, we’re going to go through what the difference is between arriving in the UK with your vaccine passport and also for those of you who are unvaccinated.

Fully Vaccinated Passengers: For anyone who isn’t aware, you only count as fully vaccinated if you’ve had your complete course 14 days prior to arriving in the UK, so please bare that in mind! You’ll need to book and pay for a Covid-19 test before you arrive, which can either be a PCR or lateral flow test which needs to be taken before your second day in the UK. Your Covid-19 booking reference will need to go on a passenger locator form, which also needs to be completed within 48 hours. If your test comes back negative, you’re good to go! However, if you return a positive PCR (or a positive later flow which is confirmed by a PCR test) then unfortunately you’ll have 10 long days of isolation.

Unvaccinated Passengers: Unfortunately for you, your route back home is a bit of a pain. Firstly, you’ll need to take a Covid-19 test 3 days before you come back the UK. Then, you will have to book and pay for a Day-2 PCR test followed by a Day-8 one as well! These will need to be taken after your arrival in the UK, as well as filling in the passenger locator form. You’re then required to isolate for 10 days even if you’re negative as well as taking your PCR tests. If you come back positive on one of your PCR tests, you’ll have to isolate for ANOTHER 10 days following the positive result!

Please Remember: It is essential to book a Covid-19 test before travelling into the UK, regardless of whether you’re vaccinated or not!

Is there anywhere I’m not allowed to travel?

We can finally announce the news the British public has waited too long to hear. The Government initially had a list of countries which were unsafe to travel to, which were subsequently placed on a “Red Travel List”. Recently however, the last of these countries have been removed from the Red Travel List, meaning we are able to travel wherever we desire.

However, there is one catch. The Government has stated that they will review this every 3 weeks, meaning if cases go back up, back on the red list they go! So, for your benefit, we’ll identify what would happen if you did want to travel to the UK from a country on the red list!

It is important to state that you will ONLY be let in if you are a British or Irish National or have residence rights in the UK! Unfortunately, there is no difference whether you are fully vaccinated or not when travelling from a red country. All passengers MUST quarantine in a managed hotel upon arrival, as well as taking 2 Covid-19 tests.

If you’d like to have a look yourself, we would highly recommend visiting the Government website as it’s definitely better to be prepared!

Side note: Keep a mask with you at all times! Better to be safe than sorry!

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Can I get my COVID pass on my phone?

Yes! COVID passes can be downloaded from the NHS app and onto your phone. However, you will need to keep a close eye on it. If your digital COVID pass is for vaccination proof, it must be renewed every 30 days. This can be done by simply going back into the NHS app and clicking on ‘Get your NHS Covid Pass’! It’s as easy as that!

You can also download a Covid Pass for proof of a lateral flow of PCR test – this test will be valid for 48 hours.

A pass for proof of a POSITIVE test will last up to 30 days, but after this you must refresh it.

An expired COVID pass can cause possible problems, especially for you travel lovers. Some airlines will not offer refunds or flight changes if there are complications with your NHS app, so be sure to keep a close eye on your NHS app!

Check out the short video below for a step-by-step guide on how to set up your Pass.

Video source: eGPLearning on YouTube

Reminder: Check the date on your COVID Pass!

What’s in the future for vaccine passports? Are they temporary or here to stay?

It looks like vaccine passports are set to become a permanent fixture for foreign travel, according to the transport secretary. Under the current restrictions, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 while travelling abroad to avoid coming home to a long few days of quarantining!

As well as allowing safer travel, it has been reported by The Institute for Government that the use of Covid Passports could reduce community transmissions between 1 and 5% and transmissions at mass events between a massive 40 – 45%! This a very encouraging sign that we are working towards a safer event industry where we are less worried about contracting Covid-19! However, we can’t stress enough: please always take precautions when attending an event, for your own safety as well as others around you.

Pubs, clubs, and other small venues not covered by certification could potentially see a rise in transmissions, which could eventually lead to vaccine passports being made a permanent fixture in venues, as well as for foreign travel.

For a more varied discussion around the use and effectiveness of vaccine passports, click here. We recommend also visiting the Government website for more information about Covid passports and the current guidelines.

Take a mental note: Keep an eye on the news, you never know when restrictions might change!

What’s your opinion on the introduction of vaccine passports? Please let us know in the comments!


Hattie says:

Really insightful…didn’t realise there weren’t any countries on the red list anymore!🤔

s1602405 says:

Hi Hattie, thank you so much for taking the time to read our blog! It was announced very recently, but we recommend staying updated with government guidelines as they are subject to change! Thank you for commenting, we’re glad you learned something new!

Tom says:

Nice to have all the confusing regulations in one concise read. A lot easier to follow then anything on!

s1602405 says:

Hi Tom, thank you interacting with our blog! We understand that the GOV.UK website can be a bit confusing at times, which is why we wanted to put all the essential information in one place where it’s a bit easier to follow! Thank you for the great feedback!

Jo Elms says:

A comprehensive & well written report on the Covid passports. Personally I hope these will be dropped though!

s1602405 says:

Hi Jo, we’re so grateful you took the time to read our blog! We absolutely love to hear different opinions about the introduction of covid passports, that’s what makes this topic such an interesting discussion! Please feel free to tell us why you think they should be dropped!

Nia says:

Personally, living in Wales, I definitely think I feel a lot more confident knowing that people have to have a vaccine passport or proof of negative test before entering particular venues! I don’t believe that it takes away anyone’s freedom, and makes me less uneasy about going to crowded venues. I also think they’re going to be so important for international travel for the foreseeable future, I’d much rather spend two minutes getting a passport to show my vaccination status than put anyone in my family at risk!

s1602405 says:

Hi Nia, it’s fantastic to get a reply from someone from Wales as you must be well aware of the effect vaccine passports are having on things such as events and nightlife! We absolutely love the selflessness you clearly have in protecting your family, a definite role-model for the younger generation! We firmly believe that safety it the top priority and hopefully vaccine passports will allow for the British public to feel safe again! Thank you so much for commenting you’ve given a fantastic opinion!

Maddie Walker says:

I have recently travelled to Germany and had this information been available before would of been a great help. There seems to be information everywhere which is unclear to interpret. I personally wish they made COVID passes mandatory to attend events of any size as well as bar and restaurants. When attending a Christmas Market in Germany, we had to show proof of vaccine along with ID to enter. This made everyone feel a lot safer at the event and everyone could enjoy the atmosphere. This is definitely something which should be considered in England.

s1602405 says:

Hi Maddie, we firstly want to say how good does it feel to be able to travel again?! We’re very happy you’ve found this blog to contain all the important information in one place, if you could share this blog around it would help spread this information to more people! The feeling of safety at an event or any public venue is something which we consider essential for normality, and as vaccine passports are available digitally it means more people will have their passport on them at all times! However we do want to pose the question to you: what would you suggest happens to the people who have chosen not to be vaccinated? Thank you so much Maddie your comment was brilliant!

Charlotte says:

Really helpful, well written blog. Having children between the ages of 12 and 17, my concern is that they do not meet vaccine requirements of other countries even if though they have followed UK government guidelines to have a single vaccine, which seems unfair.

s1602405 says:

Hi Charlotte, can we firstly say how brilliant it is that you’ve already had your children vaccinated! Whilst the the domestic use of vaccine passports is seemingly easier to implement, you have excellently identified where vaccine passports are limited in terms of travel. We completely agree that the Government may need to revisit the guidelines concerning travel for younger children, as if they have been vaccinated then they should have the ability to travel internationally. Thank you so much for this comment, you’ve brilliantly highlighted aspects of the vaccine passport which don’t work!

Chloe says:

Thought the blog was a good insight into the current rules, sometimes it difficult to know what is the up to date version as there is usually too much information however this was concise and easy to read. It’s also good that people who don’t have the vaccine due to say medical reasons can still show proof with a negative lateral flow test in the uk

s1602405 says:

Hi Chloe, thank you so much for your comment! Whilst we’ve aimed to put all the essential information in one place, we would still highly recommend keeping yourself updated with Government guidelines by downloading a news app or re-visiting the the GOV.UK website, it’s best to be prepared especially if you’re looking to attend an event or travel in the near future! Currently, Wales are the only country accepting negative lateral flow tests (Scotland are not and you don’t have to show proof in England or Northern Ireland) which means they have taken a more inclusive approach in terms of allowing unvaccinated people to attend nightclubs and events, so it will be interesting to see whether what stance England may take if vaccine passports are to be introduced!

David says:

Very informative – particularly good advice on holidays, “you don’t vac, you don’t pack”!

s1602405 says:

Hi David, thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Travel is going to be an industry which is fundamentally affected by the introduction of vaccine passports, so we considered it essential to brief our readers on current travel regulations before they start to book holidays! Also… we absolutely love the catchphrase! Thank you for commenting!

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