Guidance: Using your NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad and at venues and settings in England

Department Of Health

January 7
17:30 2022

This page applies to England. See information about COVID certificates in Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

NHS COVID Pass: what it is and how to get it

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) status records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.

It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 status:

  • when travelling abroad to some countries or territories
  • as a condition of entry at those venues or events that use the service in England

You can get an NHS COVID Pass:

  • digitally through the NHS App or online via NHS.UK
  • as a letter sent to you in the post, for those who are not digitally enabled

You can find out the eligibility requirements on the NHS website.

Getting your digital NHS COVID Pass

Get your NHS COVID Pass letter

If youre in the UK armed forces, visit My health care hub on the Defence Gateway (login required) to find out how to get your NHS COVID Pass.

The NHS App is not the same as the NHS COVID-19 App.

How to use the NHS COVID Pass at venues, events and settings in England

This guidance is for visitors to venues, events and settings. There is separate guidance for workers and for organisations.

From Wednesday 15 December, if you are aged 18 or over, to enter certain venues and events in England you must have proof of one of the following:

  • you are 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

  • you have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours

  • you are exempt from vaccination or vaccination and testing on the basis of a medical exemption or clinical trial participation

You should take tests as late as possible before attending the event, ideally within 12 hours. This will strengthen the protection testing provides.

How to get tests

You can use NHS Test and Trace tests you already have at home or order rapid lateral flow tests. If you have taken a rapid lateral flow test at home you will need to report this online. You must use a test supplied by NHS Test and Trace.

How you can demonstrate your COVID-19 status

If you live in England, you can use the NHS COVID Pass to prove your COVID-19 status. The NHS COVID Pass provides valid proof of your COVID-19 status based on your COVID-19 vaccination details, test results, medical exemption or clinical trial participation.

A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace (see the Reporting test results section below) 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.

The venue or event will check your COVID-19 status. If you do not meet the requirements, the responsible person is legally required to deny you entry to the venue or event.

If you stored an offline copy of your domestic NHS COVID Pass before 15 December 2021, youll need to renew it before using it at venues in England and Wales.

You can do this by downloading a new PDF or saving your updated domestic NHS COVID Pass to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay.

Visiting England as a resident of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man

If you live in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man then you can show proof of your COVID-19 status as this will be recognised in England if you visit.

International visitors

If you were vaccinated in another country, you can show alternative proof of vaccination if this is accepted at the UK border. International visitors can also show a valid text or email confirmation of a negative rapid lateral flow or PCR test from NHS Test and Trace.

Proof of natural immunity will not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.

Reporting test results

You should report your test result, positive or negative, to have proof that you have completed it, to NHS Test and Trace.

You should report a rapid lateral flow test result online or by calling 119.

You will then receive a text or email which you should display to the person checking that you have completed your test. A valid notification of your test result from NHS Test and Trace should include:

  1. your name

  2. your age or date of birth

  3. the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider

  4. confirmation that the test was either a PCR test or a rapid lateral flow test

  5. confirmation that the test result was negative

If you reported a negative result you will also receive access to the NHS COVID Pass. This will expire 48 hours after the time you took the test. You cannot report privately provided tests and must only use tests ordered from NHS Test and Trace.

What to do if you receive a positive test result

If you took a rapid lateral flow test at home or at a test site, and the result was positive:

Continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test. Follow the advice youre given when you get the result.

In England, if you take the PCR test within 2 days of a positive rapid lateral flow test at a test site and your PCR test is negative, you can stop self-isolating.

You can now end self-isolation after 7 days, following 2 negative lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart. You should not take the first lateral flow test before day 6. However, you will be unable to use either your domestic or travel NHS COVID Pass for 10 days following a positive NHS test result.

Venues where the NHS COVID Pass is required for visitors

Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques

You must always prove your vaccine-or-test COVID-19 status to visit all nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques.

You do not need to prove your vaccination status if:

  • the venue is not acting as a nightclub (for example by closing their dancefloor)
  • they are holding an exempt event (see the Exempt activities section below)

Other venues acting as nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques

You must also prove your COVID-19 status to visit all other venues that:

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