Following the launch on 17th May of an NHS App feature which provides access to a Covid-19 passport for international travel, Vale of Clwyd MP Dr James Davies has questioned the Covid Vaccine Minister over its availability to those registered with a GP in Wales.
Due to the complication of separate IT systems, this service is currently unavailable in Wales, where instead people who wish or need to travel via a carrier or to a country that requires Covid vaccination proof have to obtain a paper-based vaccination status. This has already proved very bureaucratic for a number of constituents who have been in touch with James.
In the House of Commons this week, James asked the Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi, when the app service will be enabled for use by those registered with a GP in Wales.
“When does my hon. Friend anticipate that the NHS smartphone app will be enabled to allow those in Wales to demonstrate their covid vaccination status? Further to that, does he expect that other features of the app, such as the ability to book GP appointments, to order prescriptions and to view notes will also be enabled in Wales?”
The Minister told James that the UK Government is working closely with the Welsh Government to “enable the integration of Welsh citizens’ data with the NHS app, NHS.uk, for the purpose of Covid status certification, including undertaking the required scoping and impact assessment that will enable us to set out a detailed timeline for the delivery of that integration.”
Speaking afterwards, James added:
“The electronic vaccine passport has proved popular in England since its launch, allowing people to prove their vaccination status in a quick and convenient way if required for international travel. It is an integral tool in the ongoing battle to provide freedoms for travel to 'green list' countries, while keeping Covid cases low. It is important that it is introduced in Wales as soon as possible.”