COVID Passports

Any requirement for an in-country COVID passport after a declaration of “freedom” will be an admission of domestic policy failure by the Government; the greater the requirement for COVID passport mandates, the bigger the failure of Government to manage the pandemic well.

If do you need a domestic COVID passport, we recommend the paper documents made available, but you also have to black out unnecessary information (see below):

  • Once you have been vaccinated in England, we suggest you use this English online form to get your paper certificate. It should arrive within 5 working days. If you prefer, you can ask for a letter by calling 119.
  • In Scotland you can request a copy of your letter online for Scotland here, or you can get a copy of your vaccine status letter by phoning the COVID-19 Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565. NHS Scotland says you should allow at least 14 days for your vaccination status letter to arrive.
  • The only Wales online option requires you to have an NHS Login, or you can request a paper NHS COVID certificate by calling 0300 303 5667 – though it can take up to 10 working days for your certificate to arrive.
  • To get a certificate for Northern Ireland online (which may take 3 days to process) you must have an nidirect account. Or you can request a paper COVID certificate by telephone on 0300 200 7814, though it will take up to 10 working days to arrive. 

The COVID passport apps in each nation are different; they work differently, and require you to prove your identity in different ways. The paper certificates tend to be valid for a longer time than the app versions, and don’t require you to show your logged-in phone to strangers.

Unfortunately the paper versions being sent out currently include information like your address and date of birth – so if you must use one for domestic purposes, make sure you block out any other personal information on it, leaving only your name and the QR code.

In our responses to Michael Gove’s original consultation on ‘Vaccine Passports’, and to the recent call for evidence on ‘Plan B’ in England, medConfidential pointed out many of the risks of app-based COVID passes. As the schemes roll out, we and others are picking up on additional problems – like people whose medical records are already flagged as sensitive not being able to get a pass.

And, as the introduction of the Scottish ‘COVID Status’ app has already demonstrated, the use of international COVID certificates for domestic purposes is unsafe, unwise and potentially unlawful; the QR codes designed for use at borders can ‘leak’ unnecessary personal information when checked at domestic venues.