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NHS app will contain 'Covid passport' from TODAY

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 16/05/2021 Xantha Leatham For The Daily Mail
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A change to the NHS app brought in today allows people to prove whether they have had the Covid jab – effectively making it a vaccine passport.

The update for users in England has been brought in with little fanfare but MPs and privacy campaigners have voiced fears that any such system could be discriminatory and a breach of human rights. 

The app, which is separate to the NHS Covid-19 app for contact tracing, can already be used to request repeat prescriptions, book doctor appointments and view medical records. 

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The update coincides with Step 3 of the Government's roadmap, which lifts the ban on foreign travel. 

The NHS Digital website reads: 'From 17 May, people in England who have had a full course of the Covid-19 vaccine can demonstrate their Covid-19 vaccination status for international travel.

'People can prove their vaccination status in the NHS app or by ringing 119 to get a letter.' 

Video: NHS app to be used as vaccine passport (Sky News)

A No 10 source last night said the updated app was designed to allow people to meet foreign countries' requirements for visitors. 

But they said 'no decisions' had been taken on the scope or use of any domestic scheme.

Boris Johnson has shelved the idea of requiring people to prove their Covid status to access pubs and restaurants.

But the idea is still being investigated by a review led by Michael Gove for mass events like sports stadiums and business conferences, and larger indoor venues like theatres.

The controversial notion of vaccine passports has been considered as a way for fully vaccinated adults to mix freely indoors without any need for restrictive public health measures or masks.

However, MPs across the political spectrum and privacy campaigners have voiced their fear that any such passport could be discriminatory and a breach of human rights.

The change introduces a 'vaccine record' service.

Users can prove they have had two doses of the jab and are therefore fully vaccinated..

A paper version is also available by calling 119 but not through a GP.

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