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UK and EU agree to digitally verify Covid-19 vaccination certificates


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The UK and EU have reached an agreement to digitally verify each other’s Covid-19 vaccination certificates. 

NHSX, the digital policy body for the health service, said this will make international travel safer and simpler for people from the relevant countries.

Currently most EU countries accept the UK’s Covid-19 vaccine certificates but only a few are able to scan them. This agreement will allow the UK and all EU member states to digitally verify their respective citizens’ vaccination status using the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) gateway.

NHSX said this will make it easier for UK citizens to get into museums, restaurants and other venues requiring proof of vaccination across the EU.  

The agreement also provides safe and secure access to non-EU countries linked to the EU DCC gateway such as Norway, Switzerland, Israel and Iceland. 

It will apply to holders of the NHS Covid Pass from England and Wales and those with certificates provided by Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Crown dependencies.

NHS Covid Pass users should refresh digital travel passes they have downloaded to their Apple Wallet or as PDFs to ensure they are up to date when visiting the EU member states and other countries linked to the EU DCC gateway.

Widespread recognition

Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSX, which is leading the NHS Covid Pass Programme, said: “The UK was one of the first countries to launch a digital pass solution, and the NHS Covid Pass is already recognised by over 80 countries and territories across the world.

“This news will add yet more countries to that list, simplifying international travel for Covid Pass users and enabling digital verification across Europe and beyond.”

The UK already accepts the EU Digital Covid certificate as proof of vaccination for international travel, and most EU countries already accept the NHS Covid Pass and covid passes from the devolved administrations and Crown dependencies. However, only a few countries are able to scan UK Covid certification bar codes.

The agreement does not involve the EU and UK sharing vaccination data.

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