Manxies are to benefit from a new agreement between the UK and the EU linking up their vaccination certification systems.
The move means the NHS Covid Pass can now be digitally verified in the EU and a number of other countries, allowing swift and more seamless travel for fully vaccinated individuals.
Islanders have been able to download their vaccination certificate online through secure NHS Login, or obtain a paper copy, since the NHS Covid pass was extended to the Isle of Man in August this year.
Most EU countries have accepted the UK’s vaccine certificates, but few have been able to scan them. The new agreement will allow the UK and all EU members states to digitally verify their respective citizens’ vaccination status through a simple scan of the bar code. A similar verification agreement provides secure access to non-EU countries linked to the EU DCC gateway including Norway, Switzerland, Israel and Iceland.
The switchover has been completed today, Monday November 1. Residents with a current digital NHS pass should download a fresh PDF of their Covid pass to generate an up to date QR code. Previous QR codes will not work once the change has been made. People with a paper copy NHS Covid pass do not need to apply for a new certificate.
NHS Covid Pass users should refresh digital travel passes they have downloaded to their Apple Wallet to ensure they are compatible when visiting EU member states and other countries linked to the EU DCC gateway.
In addition to travel, the integration of QR codes will allow citizens streamlined access to venues across the EU which require proof of vaccination such as museums, restaurants and public buildings.
Of course these changes make little difference for unvaccinated people.