The UK To Launch App-Based Vaccine Passport
This year, many countries and airlines have focused on digital health passes to revive air travel. With these digital passes capable of recording and presenting necessary testing and vaccination details, the United Kingdom authorities have confirmed that the country will also launch its own app.
On Friday, UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps offered more insight on the government’s plans for the app-based approach. Travelers will be able to show if they have gotten a vaccine shot or share their negative test results before traveling abroad.
According to the government, the new app will be based on the existing NHS app. Sky News reported Shapps to have said,
“It will be the NHS app that is used for people when they book appointments with the NHS and so on, to be able to show you’ve had a vaccine or that you’ve had testing. I’m working internationally with partners across the world to make sure that system can be internationally recognised.”
The current NHS app gives UK residents the ability to manage medical appointments, get prescriptions, register details, and provide general information. With people already familiar with the app, it makes sense that the government would want to add more functionality to it.
Although the app is already accepted in the UK, it would be important that other nations recognize the app as an essential tool for international travel.
As it stands, the government is already set to introduce a traffic light system. However, there is still no information about the countries that will be designated to the different colors. The only sure thing is that testing is still compulsory. Speaking on the issue, Shapps said,
“You will still need to take a pre-departure test and one test on your return. I think people are getting very used to testing now, not least because we provide testing up to twice a week for everyone in the country right now. So I don’t think a test itself is a big deal.”
It is clear that the UK authority is looking for the best way to resume international travel as soon as possible, given the circumstances.