As part of our commitment to reducing the cases of hospitalisation and serious illness due to COVID-19, the Government accepted the JCVI’s recommendation on the 29th November that all young people aged 12-15 years old should be offered a second dose of COVID-19 vaccination a minimum of 12 weeks after their first.
To ensure that 12-15 year olds were able to demonstrate their COVID Status for international travel prior to the Christmas holidays, on the 13th December the Government launched the NHS COVID Pass letter service for children who are double vaccinated.
From 3rd February, the Government will ensure that all children aged 12 and over will also be able to get a digital NHS COVID Pass for international travel to support our efforts to open up travel. The digital NHS COVID Pass will provide a record of COVID-19 vaccinations received and will show evidence of having recovered from COVID-19 up to 180 days following a positive NHS PCR test. The steps that the Government has taken ensures that families are not prohibited from travelling where countries require children over the age of 12 to be able to digitally demonstrate their vaccination status or proof of prior infection.
The COVID Pass will be available via the NHS.UK website for those aged 12 and over and via the NHS App for those aged 13 and over. To request an NHS COVID Pass, the child will first need to register for an NHS login, which will require them to verify their identity using their passport.
The Government has also sought to ensure that this solution can be used by children in both Wales and the Isle of Man. In Wales, 12-15 year olds will be able to generate a digital pass via NHS.UK. In the Isle of Man, they will be able to use both NHS.UK and the NHS App. Further information will be available shortly from the Department of Health for Citizens in Northern Ireland. Paper youth passes are already available for citizens in Scotland and further information on the digital solution will follow in due course.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords