Loading...

How do I get a Covid pass? Rules in the UK explained and the venues that require one

Proof of Covid vaccination or a recent negative test is now required to enter certain venues across the UK

Covid passes are now required to access certain venues across the UK, after MPs voted favour of Plan B measures in England this week.

People must show proof of their vaccination status, or a recent negative test, to enter nightclubs and other large venues.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The crackdown on rules comes following mounting concerns over the Omicron Covid-19 variant, which is rapidly spreading across the country.

The tightened rules comes following concerns over the Omicron variant (Photo: Getty Images)

The UK has so far stopped short of imposing a nationwide lockdown and will instead rely on preventative measures, such as face masks, home working and Covid passes, and the booster vaccination rollout to minimise further infections.

If you are unsure how to get a Covid pass and where you’ll need one, these are the rules across the UK.

Where do I need a Covid pass in England?

In England, all over 18s are required to show a Covid pass to enter the following venues:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor unseated venues with 500 or more attendees
  • Unseated outdoor venues with 4,000 or more attendees, such as music festivals
  • Any venue with 10,000 or more attendees, such as sports stadiums

People will only be allowed to enter these venues if they can show proof they have been double vaccinated, or show proof of a recent negative PCR or lateral flow test result taken within the last 48 hours.

Those who have a medical exemption or are taking part in a clinical trial are exempt from showing a Covid pass.

People will have to show proof of being double-vaccinated or of a negative Covid test.

How do I get a Covid pass in England?

You can get an NHS Covid pass digitally via the NHS App or by using the online NHS Covid pass service. You can then download your digital pass and print it.

If you cannot apply digitally using the NHS App or online service, you can request an NHS Covid pass letter online or by calling 119 for a paper copy to be sent to you by post.

The paper version will only show your vaccination status, not test results, and has no expiry date unlike the digital pass.

Those who are aged 18 or over require a Covid pass for domestic use in England, and can get one providing you meet the following criteria:

  • It has been two weeks since your second vaccination
  • You have had a negative PCR or lateral flow test result in the past 48 hours and reported it on the NHS website (this pass lasts for 48 hours after the result).

You must have been vaccinated in England, Wales or the Isle of Man. If you were vaccinated in Scotland, you need to both be registered with a GP in England and live in England.

Where do I need a Covid pass in Scotland?

All over 18s in Scotland must show proof of a negative lateral flow or PCR test taken within the last 24 hours, or proof of vaccination, to enter the following venues:

  • nightclubs
  • adult entertainment venues
  • indoor events with more than 500 people
  • unseated outdoor events with more than 4,000 people
  • any event with more than 10,000 people

How do I get a Covid pass in Scotland?

The NHS Scotland Covid Status App can be shown to gain entry to venues, or the NHS App if you are from England or Wales, or the Covidcert NI App if you are from Northern Ireland.

You can also download or request a copy of your vaccination status online, or request a paper copy by phoning the Covid Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565.

Where do I need a Covid pass in Wales?

People who live in Wales are required to show a Covid pass to gain entry to the following venues:

  • cinemas, theatres and concert halls
  • nightclubs and comparable venues
  • unseated indoor live events for more than 500 people
  • unseated outdoor live events for more than 4,000 people
  • any event for more than 10,000 people

All over-16s who have been fully vaccinated in Wales can use the pass to prove their status, but it is only compulsory for those aged 18 or over.

Proof of a negative lateral flow test is also allowed instead of proof of vaccination, but this must have been taken within the previous 24 hours, rather than 48 as in England. Proof of Covid recovery is also no longer accepted.

How do I get a Covid pass in Wales?

People can get their Covid pass via the NHS UK website. You cannot use the NHS app to get the Covid pass in Wales as this functionality is for NHS England only.

Once you have downloaded your pass, the barcode will remain valid for 30 days and will update automatically every time you log into the service.

If you need a paper copy, you can download a pdf of your pass and print it. This will be valid for 30 days and will renew every time you log on and print a new copy.

If you are unable to access the digital version or do not have a photo ID, you can request a paper certificate instead, but this will only show proof of vaccination.

Paper certificates can only be issued if:

  • you have had a full course of a Covid-19 vaccine (you should wait five days after your final dose before requesting it)
  • you are aged 16 or over

You can call 0300 303 5667 to request a Covid pass if you are unable to use the digital NHS pass.

Where do I need a Covid app in Northern Ireland?

In Northern Ireland, a Covid pass must be shown to enter the following venues:

  • nightclubs
  • licensed hospitality premises, including "bring your own" alcohol venues
  • cinemas, theatres and conference halls
  • indoor events with 500 or more attendees with some or all of the audience not normally seated
  • outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees with some or all of the audience not normally seated
  • events where more than 10,000 people will be present regardless of whether they are seated

How do I get a Covid pass in Northern Ireland?

People can use the CovidCert NI App to show proof of vaccination, a negative lateral flow test taken in the past 48 hours, or proof of a previous positive PCR test taken in the past 30 to 180 days.

Alternatively, a paper version can be requested by calling 0300 200 7814. This takes longer than the digital process and you will be required to verify your identity in person by presenting documents at an appointed time and location. Once these checks have been completed it may take up to 10 working days for the printed certificate to arrive.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.