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NHS COVID Pass

NHS COVID Pass: what it is and how to get it

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) status records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.

It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 status:

  • when travelling abroad to some countries or territories
  • as a condition of entry at those venues or events that use the service in England

You can get an NHS COVID Pass:

  • digitally through the NHS App or online via NHS.UK
  • as a letter sent to you in the post, for those who are not digitally enabled

You can find out the eligibility requirements on the NHS website:

Using your NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad and at venues and settings in England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks at your venue or event

Overview of the rules

This is a brief overview of the rules. More detail is given on the website link.

Venues and events that must carry out COVID-19 status checks

Venues and events where the NHS COVID Pass, or alternative proofs of COVID-19 status, must be used as a condition of entry are:

  • nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques
  • other late night dance venues, where ALL of the following apply:
    • the venue is open between 1am and 5am
    • it serves alcohol after 1am
    • it has a dance floor (or space for dancing)
    • it provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing
  • indoor events with 500 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as music venues with standing audiences or large receptions
  • outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where those attendees are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event, such as outdoor festivals
  • events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor, such as large sports and music events

What organisations must do

Organisations must take reasonable steps to make sure that all visitors aged 18 or above show an NHS COVID Pass, or approved proof of vaccination, testing, or an exemption, to enter the venue or event.

Evidence of natural immunity must not be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination or testing.

Expectations for workers

COVID-19 status checks are not mandatory for workers, but organisations should take reasonable steps to make sure that all adults working or providing services (as an employee, contractor or volunteer) in customer-facing roles show evidence of one of the following:

  • a valid NHS COVID Pass
  • an acceptable alternative proof of either vaccination, clinical trial participation, or medical exemption, for example, international equivalents accepted at the UK border
  • an alternative proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, for example, text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace

Venues and events that must carry out COVID-19 status checks

The following venues and events are required to use the NHS COVID Pass (or alternative accepted proofs of COVID-19 status) as a condition of entry.

Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques

All nightclubs, dance halls, and discotheques must use the NHS COVID Pass as a condition of entry.

Other late night dance venues are also required to use the NHS COVID Pass. Late night dance venues are defined as any venue where ALL of the following apply:

  • the venue is open between 1am and 5am
  • it serves alcohol after 1am
  • it has a dance floor or space for dancing
  • it provides music, whether live or recorded, for dancing

There are some situations where nightclubs, dance halls, discotheques and other late night dance venues do not have to use the NHS COVID Pass. These are:

  • if a venue operates an outdoor event, and there are fewer than 4,000 attendees at any one time
  • nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques which close their dance floor, or cease to provide music
  • if a venue is only hosting dance or exercise classes, ballroom dancing, or amateur or professional dance performances
  • if a venue is hosting an event which is exempt from using the NHS COVID Pass, for example a wedding or civil partnership ceremony – a full list of exempt events can be found below
  • other late night dance venues when operating outside the hours of 1am to 5am, or which close their dance floor, cease to provide music, or cease serving alcohol between the hours of 1am and 5am

Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques are required to check the COVID-19 status of visitors at all times, unless hosting an exempt event.

If you operate a venue in the category of other late night dance venue, you must take reasonable measures to make sure that all visitors who are present in your venue between the hours of 1am and 5am have the NHS COVID Pass (or other accepted evidence), even if they entered the premises before that time.

Venues can choose what measures to put in place, and whether checks should begin from either:

  • the time the venue opens
  • the time the rules apply (from 1am)

Whichever option is chosen, you must make sure you’ve taken reasonable steps to make sure that all visitors who are in the venue between the hours of 1am and 5am have the NHS COVID Pass (or other accepted evidence), even if they entered the premises before that time.

Exemptions from the Regulations:

Activities in other hospitality venues, including restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs, do not have to use COVID-19 status checks as a condition of entry unless either of the following apply:

  • someone rents the venue (or part of the venue) to host an event which meets the criteria for mandatory use of COVID-19 status checks
  • the venue hosts an event which meets the criteria for mandatory use of COVID-19 status checks, and which is ticketed or paid for

The following settings do not need to apply COVID-19 status checks as a condition of entry, unless they are holding an event that meets the criteria for venues or events requiring mandatory use of checks:

  • museums or art galleries
  • theme parks and fairgrounds
  • other tourist, heritage, or cultural sites (including zoos, aquariums and botanical gardens)
  • recreation and leisure facilities (such as bowling alleys, amusement arcades and bingo halls)
  • sport and physical activity facilities (such as gyms, swimming pools, and skating rinks)
  • play areas or centres
  • casinos
  • cinemas
  • transport hubs and public transport
  • retail, including markets, shops, shopping centres, and supermarkets

Schools, Further Education providers and Higher Education providers are not required to use the NHS COVID Pass, unless they are holding a specific event (such as a reception or concert or party) that meets the attendance thresholds. Where applicable, schools should follow guidance on mandatory certification for events.

Further information can be found at: Carrying out mandatory COVID-19 status checks at your venue or event - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)