NHS app to be repurposed as coronavirus passport for international travel

The app will allow travellers to show either a negative test result or proof of vaccination.
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Brits will be able to use an NHS app to prove their Covid vaccination or test status for international travel this summer.

Speaking to Sky News on Wednesday, April 28, transport secretary Grant Schapps confirmed that an existing NHS app will allow those wanting to travel abroad to prove they have been vaccinated or had a recent negative test.

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Schapps also said ministers will soon reveal which countries will be added to the UK’s ‘green list’ for travel, meaning quarantine upon return will not be necessary.

'Green list' countries will not require quarantine upon return to the UK.'Green list' countries will not require quarantine upon return to the UK.
'Green list' countries will not require quarantine upon return to the UK.

The traffic light system will be unveiled "in the next couple of weeks", said Schapps, speaking to Sky News.

Though ‘green list’ countries will not require a quarantine period on return, Brits will still have to undergo a Covid test prior to departure and upon arrival back in the UK.

Government sources confirmed that the app being used to prove vaccination or test status will not be the existing NHS test and trace app but the app used for booking medical appointments.

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"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," Shapps said.

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

The government is waiting on data from the UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre to determine which countries will be designated ‘green’, ‘amber’ or ‘red’ under the traffic light travel system, said Schapps.

He warned that the government would need to be “very cautious” about permitting international travel, given the high levels of coronavirus in other parts of the world.

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"Beyond our shores we are seeing the highest levels of coronavirus that we have seen so far in the entire pandemic, right now," he said.

Some European countries have already begun preparations to welcome tourists this summer, with Spain allowing Brits back into the country from June.

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