UK/EU agreement provides simpler international travel for Island residents

 
Isle of Man residents are to benefit from a new agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union linking up their vaccination certification systems.

The move means the NHS COVID Pass can now be digitally verified in the EU and a number of other countries, allowing swift and more seamless travel for fully vaccinated individuals.  

Residents have been able to download their vaccination certificate online through secure NHS Login, or obtain a paper copy, since the NHS Covid pass was extended to the Isle of Man in August this year.  

Most EU countries have accepted the UK’s vaccine certificates, but few have been able to scan them. The new agreement will allow the UK and all EU members states to digitally verify their respective citizens’ vaccination status through a simple scan of the bar code.  

The mutually beneficial arrangement uses the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) gateway, and a similar verification agreement provides secure access to non-EU countries linked to the EU DCC gateway including Norway, Switzerland, Israel and Iceland.  

The switchover has been completed today, Monday 1 November 2021. Isle of Man residents with a current digital NHS COVID Pass should download a fresh PDF of their COVID Pass to generate an up to date QR code. Previous QR codes will not work once the change has been made.  People with a paper copy NHS COVID Pass do not need to apply for a new certificate. 

NHS COVID Pass users should refresh digital travel passes they have downloaded to their Apple Wallet to ensure they are compatible when visiting EU member states and other countries linked to the EU DCC gateway.

In addition to travel, the integration of QR codes will allow citizens streamlined access to venues across the EU which require proof of vaccination such as museums, restaurants and public buildings. 

Matthew Gould, CEO of NHSx, which is leading the NHS COVID Pass Programme, said: ‘The UK was one of the first countries to launch a digital pass solution, and the NHS COVID Pass is already recognised by over 80 countries and territories across the world. 

‘Today’s news will add yet more countries to that list, simplifying international travel for COVID Pass users and enabling digital verification across Europe and beyond.’
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