With travel restrictions set to be lifted next week, it has been announced that the NHS app will double as a vaccine passport.

Holidaymakers who have received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine will be able to "prove" their vaccine status ahead of travelling to other countries. 

Health Secretary Matt ancock told Sky News: “The certification, being able to show that you’ve had a jab, is going to be necessary for people to be able to travel.

“So, we want to make sure people can get access to that proof, not least to show governments of other countries that you’ve had the jab if they require that in order to arrive.

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“Israel’s a good example. They’ve said that they’ll want proof of you having had two jabs for you to go to Israel as and when they open up. They’re on the green list of course.

“So we will make sure that you can get access to that, to prove that point.”

Not all countries are currently accepting proof of vaccination for entry into the country, so depending on where you want to go, different requirements may be necessary, such as negative Covid-19 test results.

This is what you need to know.

How to use the app?

The app is currently used to book medical appointments or order prescriptions, and is used differently to the Covid-19 app.

Official guidance on the Government website states that you will be able to access your Covid-19 vaccination status on the free NHS app from 17 May.

It says: “Proof of your Covid-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS app.

“We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel.”

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If you don’t have access to a smartphone, you can phone the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and request for a letter proving your vaccination status to be posted to you. This must be at least five days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine, and the Government estimates that it will take up to five days to reach you.

A full course of the vaccine is defined, currently, as two doses of any approved vaccine.

To use the NHS app, you must be registered with a GP in England and be aged 13 or over. It is available to download for free on both iOS and Android devices.

The Government says that it is “working with the devolved administrations to ensure this facility is available to everyone across the UK”.

Will I be able to use the app to travel?

There is a growing number of countries that will accept proof of vaccination for entry into the country.

The EU announced that it will be open to all vaccinated visitors this summer, with European Commission President Urula von der Leyan saying: “Time to revive [the EU’s] tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle - safely.

“We propose to welcome again vaccinated visitors and those from countries with a good health situation.

“But if variants emerge, we have to act fast: we propose an EU emergency brake mechanism.”

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Belize is also accepting vaccinated travellers, with visitors required to prove that they have had a full course of the vaccine at least two weeks before entering the country. They are also required to download the Belize Health App and register their information 72 hours before arrival.

The Belize Tourism Board said: “The decision to ease the restrictions on travellers who have received the Covid vaccine has been facilitated by the reduction in daily new cases across the country.”

Cyprus also allows fully vaccinated British tourists to visit the country, with Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios saying: “We have informed the British government that from May 1 we will facilitate the arrival of British nationals who have been vaccinated… so they can visit Cyprus without a negative test or needing to quarantine.”

Greek Prime Minister Harry Theoharis said: “Greece is ready with a complete protocol for summer 2021.

“Tourists will be welcome if before travel they are either vaccinated, or have antibodies, or test negative. All tourists will be subject to random testing.”

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