UK Government gives update on COVID-19 vaccine passport app

Transport secretary Grant Shapps today shared plans to create a vaccine app that will allow Britons to travel internationally this summer.

Today it has been announced that the NHS Test and Trace App, commonly used in the UK as a means to track the progression of COVID-19, will be transformed into a vaccine passport app. While it is still illegal to make any unnecessary travel, rules are set to relax from May 17th, meaning that Britons can travel internationally. 

In an interview with Sky News, Transport Minister Grant Shapps said:  “I can confirm we are working on an NHS application actually, it will be the actual app [Test and Trace], and 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 that you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing, and I’m working internationally with partners across the world, to make sure that that system can be internationally recognised.”

Shapps also added that quarantine-free countries would be announced in the coming weeks. “Not long to wait now,” he said. According to the minister, one of the countries forecast to be on the list is Spain. Travellers who have not received both of their jabs will still be required to test negative for a Covid test on arrival.


Since February, Fernando Valdes Verelst, Spain’s tourism minister, shared that the country has been planning vaccine certifications. “Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate,” he told delegates. “We are doing a pilot programme in May at all 46 airports, so we are going to give all travellers this certainty.”

As the vaccine is rolled out across age groups in the UK, the application is sure to be a welcome tool to travel by many who have not left their homes in over a year. Hopefully, the creation of this app means that the country has a grasp on mitigating the spread of Coronavirus and that Britons can finally return to a sense of normality.  

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Amber Donovan-Stevens

Amber is a Content Editor at Top Business Tech