NEWS: NHS app will be Covid passport, Dixons Travel to close, Portugal for May & Spain in June?

Alicante short breakHarbour of Alicante, Spain

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NHS app will be Covid passport

Today Grant Shapps confirmed that the NHS app will be adapted so that it can be used as a Covid passport for travel. This should be relatively easy to adapt as it already shows the date and type of vaccination. I checked mine after setting up the required account and it showed the dates of my two vaccines but it didn’t state the type of Covid vaccine or batch number.

The government had said that it could be ready by the middle of May but given its past app development, my confidence is fairly low on that one! You just need your NHS number to register. 

Grants Shapps said “In terms of vaccine certification, I can confirm… it will be an NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on to be able to show that you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing,” 

“And I’m working internationally with partners across the world, to make sure that that system can be internationally recognised,” he said.

He was also uncharacteristically hopeful about travel resuming saying that “The data does continue to look good from a UK perspective, notwithstanding those concerns about where people might be travelling to and making sure that we’re protected from the disease being reimported,”

It is expected that he should reveal the details of the traffic light categorisation of countries by the end of next week. 


Dixons Travel to close

As if airports and the travel industry weren’t suffering enough the government decided prior to Brexit that there would be no more duty free or tax free shopping from the beginning of 2021 except on alcohol and cigarettes. The first casualty of this decision has fallen in the form of Dixons travel. While many items were overpriced you could get some genuine bargains on more expensive items. It was also very handy for those electronic accessories that you had forgotten to pack! Dixons will close all 35 Dixons travel stores. 

Dixons said, “We do not expect passenger numbers to recover sufficiently to compensate for the removal of airside tax-free shopping by the UK Government from 1 January. This has led to the difficult decision to close this business, which historically made an annual profit contribution of over £20m.”


Portugal in May, Spain to welcome tourists in June?

qatar route lisbon


Spain’s tourism minister Fernando Valdes Verelst has said that the country should be ready to welcome all international visitors by June.

He said  “I think the best thing that governments right now can provide to travellers is certainty, give the proper information and the security that they can travel and they can come back to the countries. 

“In those terms, in the European Union, we put in place a system … that provides us with digital certificate.

“Spain is going to be ready in June to use this digital certificate. We are doing a pilot programme in May, in all our 46 airports.

“We are going to give all these travellers that certainty. Spain is going to be ready in June to tell all travellers worldwide that you can visit us.”

Spain has initially proposed a trial opening in May with the UK and the Balearic Islands but it has gone very quiet on that front recently. This could be what he is referring to with the pilot program although he refers to all airports. 

Portugal too has signalled British holidaymakers could be welcomed from the middle of May with travel consultant Paul Charles believing that it will be green when then list is announced (handy if so as it’s my first trip abroad).

He has also made further predictions about other countries


22 Comments on "NEWS: NHS app will be Covid passport, Dixons Travel to close, Portugal for May & Spain in June?"

  1. I wish the app was as easy for everybody. Mine shows barely anything unless I have ‘full permission’ from my GP, something they know nothing about/not doing that kind of thing at the moment! Seems very hit & miss and if that ends up being the reason that I’m unable to travel freely I’ll be mightily upset!

  2. The app is easy, your GP Surgery is clearly twinned with the 1950’s. Downloaded app, confirmed ID with NHS, took about 15 mins. Rang my surgery, to ask for full permission and was asked to attend reception that afternoon for ID purposes, they typed a few instructions into their computer and within minutes it was done. 100% up and running.The fail is clearly with your health care provider.

    • Interesting as I didn’t need to do anything but maybe as I already use another app with my GP surgery.

      • Not sure what we will do in other parts of U.K. where this app isn’t used…. Seems to be applicable to England only :-/

  3. You have to ‘opt in’ for your healthcare information to be shared to the summary healthcare record ‘SCR.’ Your GP surgery should have asked you whether you wanted to do this years ago, if they have not received your permission in writing then default is that only limited information is sent to NHS Cloud.

  4. Is this the NHS Covid 19 app or another NHS one?

  5. What about Northern Ireland as the NHS app only seems to be for England?

  6. Gary Bentley | 29 April 2021 at 7:11 am |

    I have had my 1st vaccination at Boots booked via Giv.U.K. Website GP never involved. Brilliant service at Boots but How do I get my record onto the App ?

  7. The app appears not to be consistent. I have it downloaded on both Android and Apple iOS. In both cases there is no Immunisations page as in Michelle’s screenshot. However there is a detailed entry under “Acute (short term) Medicines” which goes into detail specifying the vaccination type as:
    “18 March 2021
    COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1 S [recombinant]) 5×10,000,000,000 viral particles/0.5ml dose solution for injection multidose vials (AstraZeneca) 8 dose
    1 dose by Intramuscular Injection
    1 dose”

    A strange lack of inconsistency
    No batch number specified

  8. The NHS app states that it is only for those registered with a GP in England!

  9. I think , as stated earlier, if you already use an online App with your surgery which has your medical records on etc it’s very straightforward. You just tick a box and the NHS app seems to get the relevant info from your records .

  10. Sharon Croome | 29 April 2021 at 8:22 am |

    Our surgery uses the Patient Access app, not the NHS app. This is the problem with a non-national health service. I have downloaded the app and the app says my GP has not allowed access. If you also use the MyGP app and you get that message – click on the help link in the long message and it takes you to another page where you can download an email to send to your surgery asking for them to release my data – which you have every right to.
    I did this the other day and got a message back saying they’d never done this before and to leave it with them
    I think for those of us who are in rural surgeries where you might have last signed up 15 years ago (in my case) – the sharing of data wasn’t a thing back then

  11. Same issue here. My surgery is living in the 1920s like most of the staff. Its an effort for them to answer the phone, so probably no chance of getting full access to GP records

  12. My surgery is the same. I downloaded the MyGP app the other day as that seems equally as easy as the NHS App, and it told me they hadn’t allowed access to my data. It took me to a page where there was an email to download and send to them – you are by your own rights allowed access to your own data.
    I sent it to them the other day and they replied saying they’d never done it before but they’d look into it – I guess they’ll have to now if we’re using the NHS App as our Covid passport!

  13. Excuse my ignorance, so does that mean that the NHS app – and possibly any QR code with my vaccination data on it – is compatible with other international travel passport apps like the one being developed by IATA?

    • It is definitely planned to be but my guess is that currently it isn’t but will be. The government have said the plan is for it to work with other systems but how long that takes is anybody’s guess!

  14. This only good for England, what about the home countries?

  15. I suppose get ready for the Crankie and Herr Drakeford to blame everyone else despite them having direct control of the NHS in both Scotland and Wales. It’ll be London’s fault despite them having had full autonomous control over events, rules and policies in their own backyards throughout this whole thing. I anticipate that if those living in the other nations of the union don’t have something available then this will be the one thing in those FM’s minds that they totally 100% couldn’t have done anything about so it’s definitely not their fault.

    For those not based in England I of course hope things get sorted on at least a near-identical timeline if not actually like-for-like as just like those commenting i’d be rightfully annoyed if I couldn’t travel coz X or Y people hadn’t gotten their fingers out.

    Personally I think the IATA Pass system is better for the simple fact that they have gotten agreement already from multiple countries to accept it as a baseline standard so it’s effectively ready to go today unlike the NHS app which might be fine in our eyes but those eyes don’t matter. It’s those of foreign Gov’s that count &, unsurprisingly, HM Gov have left it pretty late in the day to be getting global acceptance of an app in just over 2 weeks time.

    • I personally think there’s only two explanations for all this. 1. They want to put you off travel by making it as difficult as possible. 2. They are incompetent. Or possibly both.

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