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Guidance: Prove your coronavirus (COVID-19) status to work at venues or events operating COVID-19 status checks

Department Of Health

January 11
16:30 2022

This guidance applies to England. Scotland and Wales operate their own mandatory certification schemes.

On Wednesday 15 December the coronavirus (COVID-19) rules on attending certain venues and events in England are changing.

From this date, to enter those venues and events, people aged 18 or above must either:

  • be fully vaccinated with 2 doses of an approved vaccine (or one of the single-dose Janssen vaccine)
  • have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours, or
  • be exempt

You do not currently need a booster to get an NHS COVID Pass. We will keep this under review as boosters are rolled out.

Customer-facing workers in venues or events where certification applies are strongly advised to be vaccinated or regularly testing.

If you live in England, you can show your NHS COVID Pass to prove:

  • youre vaccinated
  • have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours
  • or are exempt

COVID-19 status proof from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man will be recognised in England.

If you were vaccinated in another country, you can show alternative proof of vaccination if this is accepted at the UK border for entry into the UK.

A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace can also be used as proof that you have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours. You can only use tests from NHS Test and Trace, and not privately provided tests.

The NHS COVID Pass no longer gives details of natural immunity. Proof of natural immunity should not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or a negative test result.

There is information on what the NHS COVID Pass is, how to get one and how to use it.

Who this guidance is for

This page is for workers (including employees, other staff and volunteers, and people providing services to the event or venue) who are now advised to use the NHS COVID Pass, or equivalent proof, to access certain venues or events.

Your employer may provide separate guidance or have additional requirements relating to COVID-19 safety.

Read separate guidance for organisations (including event organisers, venues, and businesses) now required to use the NHS COVID Pass.

Read further information about what the NHS COVID Pass is.

If youre an adult working or providing services (as an employee, contractor or volunteer) in venues or events which require evidence of your COVID-19 status, you should show either:

  • a valid NHS COVID Pass
  • an acceptable alternative proof of either vaccination, clinical trial participation, or medical exemption, for example, international equivalents accepted at the UK border
  • alternative proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, for example, text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace

This does not apply if youre a worker in a care home because full vaccination (or valid exemption) is required for all those entering care homes. Read guidance on vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes.

Venues or events at which proof of COVID-19 status is advised

Venues where the NHS COVID Pass is required for visitors

You should prove your vaccine-or-test COVID-19 status to work at all nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques. It is advised that you prove your COVID-19 status to work in customer-facing roles at all these venues at all times, unless they are not acting as a nightclub (for example by closing their dancefloor) or they are holding an exempt event (see the Exempt activities section below).

Other venues acting as nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques

You are also advised to prove your COVID-19 status to work in customer-facing roles in all other venues that:

  • are open at any point between 1am and 5am
  • serve alcohol after 1am
  • have a dancefloor (or space for dancing)
  • provide music, whether live or recorded, for dancing

Unless they are holding an exempt event (see the Exempt activities section below).

Venues meeting these criteria are advised to ensure that all those working from 1am have proof of COVID-19 status. Venues will be able to choose how they do this, which could include conducting checks before 1am.

Events where visitors need a NHS COVID Pass

You should also prove your COVID-19 status to work in customer-facing roles at events where attendees must prove their COVID-19 status. These are:

  • indoor events with 500 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event (such as music venues with standing audiences, or large receptions)
  • outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event (such as outdoor festivals)
  • any events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor (such as large sports and music events)

Events are defined as including:

  • an entertainment, a performance, or similar occasion
  • a competition, race, match or other sporting event
  • a celebration, ball, reception or other organised social event
  • a conference, presentation, trade show, business reception, award show or a charitable auction

Exempt activities

Some venues are not advised to check proof of your COVID-19 status unless they are holding a specific event (such as a performance or reception) that meets the attendance thresholds.

The use of the NHS COVID Pass is not advised for participation in sporting activity, regardless of number of participants or whether the activity is indoors or outdoors.

There are also some events where you wont be advised to prove your COVID-19 status to work. These include:

  • communal worship
  • wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and equivalents (including alternative wedding ceremonies)
  • receptions celebrating a wedding or other significant life event (like a christening, bar and bat mitzvah or mehndi ceremony) that are organised by an individual (and not a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, or a public body)
  • funerals and commemorative events (except where commemorative events are held in a nightclub)
  • outdoor events in public spaces where these are unticketed and not charged for (such as markets, street parties, protests and carnivals)
  • events in private houses (including private gardens) where people do not have to pay or hold a ticket to enter

More details about the venues and events where you should demonstrate your COVID-19 status as a condition of entry are in the guidance page for organisations.

Workers who should prove their COVID-19 status

If youre an adult working or providing services, particularly if youre coming into contact with customers, in venues or events which require evidence of COVID-19 status for visitors, you should be either:

  • fully vaccinated with 2 doses of an approved vaccine (or one of the single-dose Janssen vaccine) we will keep this under review as boosters are rolled out
  • exempt from vaccination (for medical reasons or because you participated in a COVID-19 vaccine trial)
  • undertaking regular, lateral flow testing

or

  • an exempt person (conducting their official duties)

The responsible person for the venue or event is strongly advised to take reasonable measures to ensure all adults working in roles that come into contact with members of the public meet the COVID-19 status requirements.

If you do not meet the COVID-19 status requirements, the responsible person is strongly advised to deny you entry to the venue or event.

If you work at a venue or event that requires evidence of your COVID-19 status for visitors but youre working in a role that does not come into contact with customers, you do not need to show evidence of vaccination or testing.

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