NHS app: how does the Covid travel passport work in the NHS app - and how to download it

The app will show whether people have had a Covid-19 vaccine or have tested negative for coronavirus before departing the UK

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced that an NHS app will be used as a Covid passport for travel abroad this year.

But how will the NHS app for Covid passports work, when will it be rolled out and which countries will be on the UK’s green list?

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The app will show whether people have had a Covid-19 jab or have tested negative for the virus before departing the UK (Photo: Shutterstock)

How will the NHS Covid passport app work?

The Transport Secretary revealed that an NHS app will be used to allow people to travel abroad this year.

The app will show whether people have had a Covid-19 jab or tested negative for the virus before departing the UK.

Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday (28 April), Mr Shapps said: "It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show you've had a vaccine or that you've had testing.

"I'm working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised."

How do I get a Covid passport?

Government sources have clarified that the app which will be used to enable people to travel abroad this year will not be the current NHS Covid-19 app.

The NHS Covid-19 app is the contact tracing app currently used for people to be able to ‘check-in’ to pubs, bars and restaurants.

However, the NHS app which will be used to allow travel will instead be the app which is currently used to book general healthcare appointments.

The NHS App is available to download on smartphones and tablets from the App Store and Google Play.

It's not possible to download the app on your computer, but you can access NHS App services from the browser on your desktop or laptop computer.

Which countries will be on the UK’s green list?

Mr Shapps also announced that the countries which will be on the UK’s “green list” for travel will be announced “in the next couple of weeks”.

People from the UK will be able to travel to these countries on the “green list” without having to quarantine on their return.

However, travellers will still need to take a Covid test both before their departure and on their return to the UK.

The “green list” will be part of the UK’s “traffic light” system, which will place countries into different categories depending on their level of Covid infections, vaccination rates, concerns around coronavirus variants, and the accuracy of a country's coronavirus reporting.

Mr Shapps said he was currently awaiting data from the government's Joint Biosecurity Centre before he can announce which countries will be classed as "green", "amber" or "red" under the traffic light system.

He said that “in the next couple of weeks, I'll be able to tell you about which countries will have made it into the traffic light system and that 'green' list in particular are the countries where you'll be able to go to without needing to quarantine on your return.”

"You will still need to take a pre-departure test and one test on your return,” Mr Shapps added.

"I think people are getting very used to testing now, not least because we provide testing up to twice a week for everyone in the country right now. So I don't think a test itself is a big deal."