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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)

  • Peter says:

    I’ve been waiting for 4 weeks to hear back from BA if I still get the double tier points if they rebooked me from a BA to QR flight number because it’s a schedule change. Anyone had this case so far?

    • Chas says:

      I believe there’s a concept called “original routing credit” which should give you this in the event that BA’s cancellations / re-routings were the direct cause, although I have no direct experience of this myself. I think you’d need to proactively ask for this (whether by name or not I don’t know…) which you have, and probably chase it too.

  • Rob B says:

    The date the reduction to 450 TPs for silver is 30 June 2022 (not yet to be announced date in June).

    Scroll down to the very last FAQ

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/tiers-and-benefits

  • Jason says:

    Does the tier point promotion work with First flights?

  • Oldman7 says:

    Think the outbound flight needs to be done by 31st of March- not all the trip completed.

  • SJ says:

    My understanding was that only the outbound flight needs to be before the 31st of March for the Double Tier Points offer

    d. Travel is for outbound departures between
    9 June 2021 and 31 March 2022 inclusive
    (final outbound departure date is
    31 March 2022).

  • DAJ says:

    Good news re the double points as my little one will now qualify for silver.

    On another note, I am a little confused as to the whole reduced tier point threshold end date! On the basis that my account (collection year ending 8 July) shows the reduced qualification for gold, I have booked flights to the US for June 21 which will get me to the reduced gold threshold.

    Rob mentions that the thresholds will change at a date to be determined but in June. My understanding was that because my account shows the reduced threshold with my year end being 8 July, that would mean I should be able to qualify.

    If this has not been confirmed yet, why on earth can BA not just come out and say when the reduced period runs up to so everyone is clear?

    If I miss out based on some arbitrary date suddenly being announced close to June I will not be impressed in the slightest!

    Any additional info on this would be appreciated.

  • L Allen says:

    Regarding the app QR code. As there is no UK wide NHS app, the devolved nations all do their own thing, is the advice applicable just to England or all nations? For example, the Scottish QR code doesn’t need refreshing every 30 days, it’s just England (as far as I know) which does that.

    Instead, I downloaded the Irish app, which readily accepted my QR code.

    • manilabay says:

      You may want to be careful. The Irish app accepted UK QR codes prior to the announcement last week (same for France). Try with the Dutch CoronaCheck Scanner. I would advise redownloading a new version of the Scottish QR just in case if travelling to Europe (I don’t live in Scotland or NI so can’t confirm).

    • John says:

      Does it really matter, just get a new code immediately before you travel, keep one saved in case the app malfunctions but replace the saved code every time you get a new one.

      You don’t need to use the same code for anything, for example on my recent entry to the UK I used a different code for the PLF to what I sent Verifly. They still wanted to see the code before boarding so I used another code

  • FatherOfFour says:

    Rob, you mention saving the 2D Code to your smartphone wallet. Is this possible with GooglePay? How?
    I’ve downloaded a PDF and also taken a screenshot today of my 2nd Dose code.

    • StevieKicks says:

      The English app works with Apple Wallet but not Google Pay unfortunately, means there’s no way to properly access it online other than a screenshot.

      Scottish app works perfectly offline

    • Rich says:

      The Tous Anti Covid Android app has a lovely widget that lets you add the QR code to your homescreen.

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