Several countries including Malta and Portugal now insist that British holidaymakers are fully vaccinated while others will allow them test-free access if they can prove they’ve had both jabs.
Spain, including the Balearics, Croatia, Cyprus and Greece are among the countries allowing those who’ve had both jabs to skip quarantine, although all of these except the Balearics are currently on the UK’s amber travel list so clients will have to quarantine when they return home.
So how do your clients prove they’ve had both doses of a recognised COVID vaccine?
How to get a COVID Travel Pass
There are three ways your clients can get a vaccine passport, now commonly referred to as a COVID Travel Pass.
The easiest way is to download a vaccination certificate from the NHS website, but note that this option is not accepted by Malta. For Malta, scroll down to read how to obtain a letter from the NHS.
To downloand a certificate, clients will need to log in to the NHS website first and upload some photo ID. The Government is advising them to do this at least two weeks before they travel. Then they should be able to view all of their vaccinations and download or print their certificates.
The second way is to use the NHS App, but again, this is not an option for those travelling to Malta.
The App, available free to download onto smartphones and tablets, includes details of all inoculations, including COVID-19.
It already includes details of patients’ medical records once they’ve logged in and provided photographic ID and most users will immediately see their COVID inoculations too.
Clients should be advised to download the App once they’ve had both doses of the COVID vaccine and at least two weeks before they’re due to travel, although details of their inoculations should appear as soon as they register.
Some users might not have immediate access to their inoculations on the App, however. They might first need to register with their GP for online access to their medical records. If they’re having difficulty, they should contact their surgery to ask how to access their vaccinations on the App.
Some travellers have reported difficulties using the app at immigration, so it seems sensible to download and print out a PDF version of the vaccination certificate to show officials. Apparently this is faster than using the app.
At the moment, the NHS App can only be used to verify a users’ vaccination status, but the Government says it is planning to add COVID test results soon.
What about holidaymakers without smartphones or computers?
Travellers without smartphones, and those with older models that don’t support the NHS App, will be issued with a paper certificate, or letter, directly by the NHS instead. This must also be requested by holidaymakers travelling to Malta, which won’t accept the app or a certificate downloaded from the NHS website.
To obtain a letter, clients can call the NHS helpline on 119 (not their GP) or order one from the NHS website.
The Government says they must wait for two weeks after they’ve had their second jab before calling 119. It was initially five days. The letter will take up to five days to arrive and will be sent to the home address registered with their GP.
However, do note that the Government is warning that even fully vaccinated holidaymakers might need to take a negative COVID test for entry to some countries. You should always check entry rules both with the Foreign Office website and the government websites of the countries to be visited.