Everything you need to know about the NHS Covid Pass

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a press conference on July 12 that the UK can go ahead with stage four of its lockdown relaxation.

Nightclubs and large events will now be allowed to reopen without legal capacity limits and social distancing rules.

However, a new measure that was announced during the press conference is the introduction of the NHS Covid Pass.

These are advised by the government for large scale events and for nightclubs, however, it will be up to each organiser if they want to introduce them or not.

So, it is important to explain what they are, and how students can get one.

What is the NHS Covid Pass?

The NHS Covid Pass displays a users’ vaccination status or COVID-19 test result.

The ‘passports’ would be used for getting into venues such as nightclubs and other large-scale events if organisers choose to implement them.

More than 30 countries currently recognise the pass, which can be used to avoid having to complete a self-isolation period upon arrival.

However, travellers are reminded to look up the individual country’s entry requirements to see if the Covid Pass is recognised.

How can I get the NHS Covid Pass?

Users can request a QR Code from the NHS website or the NHS App (that is different to the NHS Covid-19 App) that will be valid for a certain amount of time, depending on the pass issued.

The NHS appointment card from vaccination centres cannot be used to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status.

When can I get my NHS Covid Pass?

If both doses have been given in England, the pass can be issued two weeks after the second dose of the Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or two weeks after the single-dose of the Janssen vaccine. This will last 28 days.

As soon as you get a negative PCR test or rapid lateral flow test. This pass will last 48 hours, starting from when the test has been taken.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 within the last six months, you can get your pass as soon as you have finished the self-isolation period and up to 180 days after taking the test.

Alternatively, people can call 119 to request an NHS Covid Pass letter sent in the post. This will only show vaccination status and has no expiry date on it.

Where will I need the NHS Covid Pass?

The government has not made the pass a legal requirement, meaning that venues are not mandated to enforce them.

Nightclubs will be one of the industries that has been recommended to use the Pass, along with other large-scale events.

These may include football games and music festivals.

There are mixed feelings among students regarding the introduction of the NHS Covid Pass (Credit: Héctor García)

Sam Hart, 19, a third-year NTU Politics and International Relations student said that they were unfair.

When asked if the pass should be introduced he said: “I don’t think they should be introduced as of yet.

“The amount of young people who aren’t single or fully vaccinated is still high and they make up the majority of the guests.

“However, around autumn time they should be introduced because there would be little excuse for not having a vaccine by then and would therefore be fairer.”

Sam also added that the circumstances to get a pass are unfair at the moment, especially for younger people.

Ben Kirk, 20, a third-year NTU Biological Sciences student said that excluding people who cannot have the vaccine because of medical reasons would be wrong, but for the majority of people having proof of vaccination is not new.

“It’s free to have the vaccine, so there isn’t any reason for the majority of people not to get it.

“If it’s what it takes to stop the spread of the virus in our country and keep people safe then perhaps it is a good idea.

“It sounds straightforward to get a pass.

“You can order free tests online which are almost always delivered the next day to have at home.”

Neither Sam nor Ben are planning to go back out next week when England’s final step of the roadmap to freedom is set to come into force.

Georgia Nolan, 20, a third-year NTU Psychology student said that she thinks it would be a good idea initially, as it lowers the risk of the virus spread while large-scale events are resumed.

However, she thinks that the pass is not the best solution in the long run.

She said: “I think it’s fair, however, getting a Pass feels like a lengthy process.”

She added that she plans to go back out when restrictions ease next week.

Lead image: Tim Dennell

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