Vaccine passport explained; will you need one for a night out in the uk?

Richard Cerkasins
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

What is a vaccine passport?

A vaccine passport otherwise knows as a vaccine certificate, immunity certificate or health pass is a document that shows proof of immunisation from a contagious disease.

Everyone In the Uk has received some sort of vaccine for either the flu or chicken pox. A vaccine certificate or passport is just a term used to described the set of documents showing proof of immunisation. However you've probably heard of the vaccine passport in a slightly different context.

Will you need a vaccine passport?

The term covid vaccine passport has been buzz word plastered all around the news but what does it actually mean for the British public. The idea of a vaccine certificate for covid was introduced back in March 2020 when the pandemic hit. Now that a vaccine has been developed and available to people from age 18 and above there has been a lot of talk about making it mandatory to increase the immunisation rate and help combat rising death rates. The government has been specifically targeting efforts at young people, stressing the importance of the vaccine in order to return to normal life. However this has been met with backlash especially from the hospitality industry due to the implications is has on the success of business. The public opinion on a mandated vaccine is also very mixed and rightly so. There simply hasn't been a lot of clarity on how it will all work and weather or not we will actually need to be vaccinated to sustain this period of normality. To try to give some clarity on what's going we have compiled a clear timeline of government guidance on the vaccine passport leading up to the 21st of September 2021.

timeline of the vaccine passport rollout.

  • 15/07/21 - Pubs & restaurants urged to roll out ‘NHS Covid pass’ with plans to enforce it in autumn. There is still much debate around wether or not introducing vaccine certification to attend events and venues is ethical and something that should be enforced.
  • 01/09/21 - Nicola Sturgeon announces plans for vaccine passport for Scotland. A covid certification will be necessary when visiting all indoor venues. This has now been confirmed to take affect starting October 1st.
  • 06/09/21 - Introduction of vaccine passport labelled as the “right thing to do” by Nadhim Zahawi to prepare for the flu season. Plans for passport rollout have begun to take shape for the rest of the UK. Making proof of vaccination mandatory from October 1st for visiting pubs, restaurants and large public events.
  • 12/09/21 - Vaccine passport plans scrapped by Sajid Javid for England without a concrete basis on doing so. Sajid Javid told the BBC: "We shouldn't be doing things for the sake of it." This was then confirmed by Boris Johnson himself during his winter road map announcement.
  • 21/09/21 - As it stands the vaccine passport plans have been cancelled across England. However select large events like Concerts and Festivals require attendees to be tested at a maximum of 48hr before the event. Although plans for a vaccine passport have been scrapped there are still conversations being had on wether or not it should be introduced if a new variant causes an influx of new cases.

How does a vaccine passport work

Luckily this is one of the things the government has gotten right. The rollout of the vaccine in the UK has been handled very well with 66% of Uk citizen now fully vaccinated. This is in part due to walk in sites which are incredibly efficient in giving out jabs. In just 20-30 minutes you could be out on your way home having received a dose of the vaccine. However to become fully vaccinated you are required to have two doses which are given a month apart.

This is then automatically added to your health record just like any other vaccine.

How to present your vaccination certificate

This is all handled digitally through the NHS. You can download the NHS covid pass on your mobile device and after providing some information to prove your identity you are given a QR code which when scanned will display your vaccination status. Luckily being vaccinated isn't a requirement to go on with your daily life but if you have received both jabs of the vaccine you can use the app to travel freely outside the country and go to large events without the need to for PCR tests.

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