The NHS app has been updated with a new ‘Covid Pass’, which can be used to show vaccination status and test results.
The app already displayed how many vaccines a person has received and when, but the new function allows users to display any recent Covid-19 test results, too.
It means those who have yet to be double vaccinated can take a lateral flow test at home and log it on the app before attending a venue. Spot tests will ensure people are being truthful about their negative results, the Daily Mail reports.
The NHS App, where the NHS Covid Pass is available, is different to the NHS Covid-19 app used for contact tracing.
The app’s new function has been primarily designed to aid large events, including Wimbledon and Euro 2020 matches, which are part of the government’s events research programme.
At Wimbledon, for example, anyone attending as a fan will need to either show proof of full vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or immunity through a recent Covid infection (a positive PCR test in the previous 180 days).
Outside of these official pilot events, the government has said that displaying vaccination status won’t be made mandatory, but event organisers will be given the option to ask attendees to show their Covid status.
HuffPost UK has contacted the government for further clarity on which business may be encouraged to use the app’s function in the coming months and will update this article when we receive a response.
There has already been widespread criticism surrounding the concept of domestic “Covid passports”. Wetherspoon boss Tim Martin previously said vaccine passports would be “the last straw” for struggling pubs.
Meanwhile, a cross-party group of MPs working with the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) urged the government not to introduce Covid passports for domestic use.
They argued that passports would “disproportionately discriminate” based on race, religion, age and socio-economic background.
Internationally, though, health ministers from G7 countries agreed on the need to work together to develop “mutual recognition of testing and vaccination certificates across countries”. Vaccine passports appear likely around international travel.
Despite the new app update, a government spokesperson told PA a review of the evidence around Covid certification was still ongoing.