Health Secretary Sajid Javid has confirmed that children aged 12 to 15 can get an NHS COVID Pass for international travel from today, but only once they’ve received both doses of the vaccine – and it’s not yet clear when that will be.
Previously, only those aged 16+ were able to obtain a COVID Pass, which meant younger children were unable to prove their vaccination status for entry to other countries.
However, the Government has expanded the COVID Pass to younger children after deciding to double-dose under 16s.
Those aged 12 to 15 who have received two doses of the vaccine will be able to apply for a letter for travel from today. The letter includes a 2D barcode, which will be recognised by other countries, says the Department of Health (DHSC).
Letters can be obtained by calling 119 but might take up to seven days to arrive.
The DHSC said a COVID Pass for 12-15 year olds will be included on the NHS app from early next year.
Giving those aged 12 to 16 access to the COVID Pass will make it easier for families to travel to some countries, including Spain, which only allow access to fully vaccinated arrivals, or those like France and Italy that insist on regular testing for unvaccinated children to enter restaurants and other venues.
In the UK, children aged 12 to 17 are considered fully vaccinated after just one dose, but the Department of Health says they will be offered a second dose, however, it hasn’t said when.