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Refresh your NHS vaccine pass before travelling to Europe

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We wrote an article last week listing the 45 countries and territories that would now accept your NHS covid vaccination pass as an equivalent to the EU or other national pass.

If you are travelling to the EU or one of the other countries included, don’t be caught out.

Any NHS covid pass downloaded before 1st November will not work outside the UK despite being valid, in theory, for 30 days. You risk being refused to access to hotels, bars and restaurants.

update your NHS covid pass before travelling to Europe

If you pull up your pass directly from the NHS app each time, you will be fine. This problem only occurs if you have printed off your pass or saved it in your smartphone wallet.

This is, reportedly, because the QR code generated in the NHS app was adjusted on 1st November. This was done to move it to the EU standard and so readable when scanned outside the UK.

You can verify this by looking at gov.uk here and scrolling down to “Using the NHS COVID Pass for international travel”.

Comments (64)

  • LewisB says:

    Question, I booked a Premium Economy BA Holiday to SFO next March and upgraded to Club World using Avios. My booking is quoting I’ll earn 280 tier points. 280 would be the tier points earned if I paid cash for Club World, and double the Premium Economy would be 360. Do you earn full tier points if you upgrade via Avios on BA Holidays? It would be lovely to get 560 tier points…

    • Biki says:

      You should only get tier points for the paid PE part, but sometimes BA IT seems to go a bit crazy. Check afterwards and don’t say anything if it goes wrong in your favour!

    • Jonathan says:

      Well known bug with UUA. You will get the TP’s for underlying cash fare (WTP) unless there is IRROPS which mean BA shift you into a revenue CW fare bucket & don’t transfer the redemption code over.

      Eg. If you look at the screenshots above there is (C/R). The first letter signifies the cabin you are flying in & the second letter the fare class you paid for. C & R both signifying Business. If you had upgraded with Avios from economy to business then the second letter would show an economy fare class eg. V. The Avios & tier points post based on the second letter. If there is a cancellation & a BA agent rebooks you on a flight with no redemption availability they will use the lowest fare bucket for the cabin you are travelling in so you can end up with eg. C/J & earn the full business Avios/TP’s.

      • Chas says:

        Really useful explanation – thanks.

      • LewisB says:

        Thanks for this, very useful. This is a bit of a weird booking because I’m sure the BA call centre staff didn’t have a clue… when I upgraded they quoted me £0 in taxes (very unusual) and 50,000 Avios for two people both ways. Fingers crossed!

  • Stu N says:

    Manage my booking is usually wrong in this situation. You should only earn TPs on the cash fare. Occasionally the higher TPs will post and occasionally nothing posts. You’d need to speak to BA to resolve any errors.

  • The big A says:

    My nhs generated vaccine QR code worked fine in France, there was no need to use any other app as previously suggested here it’s as auto recognised (albeit prior to 1.11.21

  • Robbie says:

    *NHS England

    Please try and be more quadrinational and not just cover England as if it’s the UK…

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