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Covid-19 Update

Volume 717: debated on Monday 27 June 2022

As part of our continued commitment to open up travel, on 23 June, the Government extended the International NHS covid pass letter service to allow children aged five to 11 years to get an International NHS covid pass following a positive NHS PCR test or equivalent within the past 180 days—recovery status. Prior to 23 June, children aged five to 11 could only access an international NHS covid pass if they had received a full primary course of covid-19 vaccination.

Extending access to the International NHS covid pass to children aged five to 11 with recovery status will save families the cost of testing in countries where this is required for foreign travel and ensures that young children are able to provide proof of their covid-19 status on a par with the rest of the population. The UK has no covid certification requirements and this is to support outbound travel to a variety of countries that still have requirements.

A person with parental responsibility for the child—such as the parent or guardian—will be able to request the letter online via the NHS website or by calling 119. The letter will only be sent to the address on the child’s GP record.

This service is now available for children aged five to 11 resident in England and Wales. A letter based on recovery status is not available in the Isle of Man. In Northern Ireland, parents or guardians of children aged five to 11 have been able to request a digital or printed covid certificate on behalf of a dependant since January 2022. The COVIDCert NI app was updated in March 2022, to allow all those under 16 to upload the certificate—requested on their behalf—to display on the app. Anyone under 16 who tested positive for covid through an NHS PCR test prior to 1 May is able to request a recovery certificate in Scotland by phoning the covid status helpline on: 0808 196 8565.