Travellers who have had a booster or a third dose will be able to demonstrate their vaccine status through the NHS COVID Pass from today (Friday 19 November).
The addition will enable those who have had their booster or third dose to travel to countries including Israel, Croatia and Austria who have already introduced a time limit for the COVID-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine free travel.
Booster and third doses will not be added to the domestic COVID Pass as it is not a current requirement for individuals to receive booster doses to qualify as fully vaccinated. It will also not be necessary to show evidence of a booster for travel into England at this time.
Over 13 million booster and third jabs have now been administered in the UK, providing those eligible with maximum protection as we head into winter.
This week, the government has also accepted the advice from the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to expand the booster programme to those aged 40-49, which means millions more people will be eligible to get their third dose.
Health and Social Care secretary, Sajid Javid said:
“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to show their vaccine status if they are travelling abroad.
“This update to the NHS COVID Pass will mean people can have their complete medical picture at their fingertips if they are going on holiday or seeing loved ones overseas.
“Getting a top-up jab is our best defence against this virus and I urge all those who are eligible to come forward and get boosted.”
The NHS COVID Pass enables people to demonstrate their COVID-19 status when travelling abroad or when visiting organisations who have opted to use the domestic certification process. Since its launch on 17 May, almost 20 million people have accessed the COVID Pass via the NHS App.
Vaccines Minister Maggie Throup said:
“Getting a booster is the best way you can protect yourself ahead of winter and it’s great those who have come forward can now demonstrate their vaccination status through the NHS COVID Pass if they are travelling overseas.
“It has also never been easier to book your booster, with walk-in sites open across the country and appointments available to pre-book a month before you are eligible for your top-up. For anyone who hasn’t yet had their jab, come forward as soon as possible for maximum protection ahead of Christmas.”
Booster and third doses will show up automatically in the digital COVID Pass and will be visible from midday on Friday for users in England but will not immediately be available via the COVID Pass letter service. This will be updated in due course.
The booster vaccine will appear on the Covid Pass in Wales from 29 November. However evidence of a booster vaccine is not needed to enter venues in Wales which require a Covid Pass for entry. Evidence of two vaccinations or a negative lateral flow test in the last 48 hours remain the requirement.
Vaccines give high levels of protection but immunity reduces over time, so it is vital that people come forward to get their COVID-19 booster vaccine to top-up their defences and protect themselves this winter.
Results from the first UK real-world study by UKHSA show the pfizer-BioNTech vaccine booster significantly increased protection against symptomatic disease to nearly 95% in those aged 50 and above.