The government’s Travel Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed an NHS app will be used to house COVID Passports allowing international travel to recommence from the UK.  

Mr Shapps also confirmed we can expect to get the low down on which countries Brits can travel to without having to quarantine “in the next couple of weeks”.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been heading up the government's Global Travel Taskforce

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been heading up the government’s Global Travel Taskforce. Image: Flickr

Traffic light system given the green light

Part of the fallout from Boris Johnson’s recent Roadmap to Recovery press conference was the Prime Minister confirming which countries Britons would be able to travel to quarantine-free. These countries would be designated in a “traffic light” system 

As of yet, we haven’t had any clear direction from the government as to which countries will fall into which area of colour-coded system.  

Boris Johnson announced new Coronavirus restrictions recently

Mr Johnson’s Roadmap told us the traffic lights system was coming, now it appears to finally be on the horizon. Image: Flickr: Pippa Fowler

However, along with the announcement of COVID Passports via an NHS app, Mr Shapps also confirmed we should see categorisation for each nation very soonIt’s thought that Spain will be one of the first countries to enter the “green list” with quarantine-free travel being allowed from June.  

But, before we know where we can go, many have been asking for confirmation of how international travel will work.  

What will COVID Passports look like?

With lots of the international coronavirus recovery conversation centring around the use of vaccine passportsMembers of the EU were also looking at the possibility of running “green certificates to allow for negative testing as a condition for travel, rather than a passport system focused on vaccine uptake.  

However, the Travel Secretary confirmed this week that an NHS app will be utilised for Brits to prove their vaccination status or to provide a negative test. 

COVID 19 tests being processed in a lab

The new NHS app should house vaccination and testing statuses of travellers.

The government have been quick to clarify the NHS app used for COVID Passports would not be the same one as is currently in operation for track and trace 

Speaking to the media this week the Travel Secretary 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.

He then went on to add he would be working with international partners to ensure the UK’s COVID Passport was universally recognised and accepted.  

Dom Rep doing it right

This latest batch of announcements from the government will only go to encourage the growing good feeling surrounding the travel industry 

With all eyes now on 17 May and that proposed re-opening of international travel, the Dominican Republic have become the latest country to announce they’re looking forward to accepting tourists from the UK again without the need to present even a negative PCR test 

The Dom Rep’s vaccine rollout process has been a leader in the Caribbean and Central America with over 750,000 people now fully vaccinated and over one million having had their first jab.