The UK government’s ‘Plan B’ social restrictions to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus remain in place for now, with NHS Covid passes now made mandatory in some contexts.
Following the return of compulsory mask wearing in shops, cinemas, theaters and places of worship and on public transport and the order to work from home, members of the public are now required to produce an NHS Covid Pass in exchange for an entrance to crowded places.
The pass, representing proof of immunization status and / or proof of a negative test result, is required in non-seated indoor locations with more than 500 people present and in non-seated outdoor areas with over 4,000 people present – and in any place with more than 10,000 like sports stadiums.
It may also be required as a condition of travel abroad.
“The NHS Covid pass can still be obtained with two doses, but we will keep this under review as the boosters are deployed,” Boris Johnson said when he announced the tightening of restrictions on December 8.
“And having taken clinical advice since Omicron’s emergence, a negative lateral flow test will also be sufficient.
“As we set out in Plan B, we will be giving businesses one week’s notice, so this will go into effect in a week, helping to keep these events and venues open at capacity while giving everyone who There is confidence that those around them have done the responsible thing to minimize risk to others.
The NHS Covid pass rules are by no means popular with all of Mr Johnson’s Tory colleagues, some of whom see them as a violation of civil liberties, a position Tory MP Marcus Fysh has taken at the extreme when he compared their introduction to Nazi Germany.
A major backbench rebellion occurred on Tuesday, December 14 when MPs voted in favor of Plan B restrictions in the House of Commons, the revolt also in part a protest against the increasingly exhausted leadership and scandalized by the Prime Minister.
Liberal Democrats have also raised objections to the laissez-passer, accusing the government earlier this year of introducing identity cards “on the stealth” when updating the NHS app and since they called them “illiberal and destructive”, warning that they “represent a massive change in the relationship between ordinary people and their government”.
However, given that Sir Keir Starmer’s opposition Labor Party would always support the government’s position, believing it to be in the national interest, the mutiny did not prevent the measures from being adopted.
To access your digital NHS Covid Pass you must have downloaded the free NHS app on your smartphone – and be registered with a GP in England to be able to access it.
By simply logging into the app, you will be able to show proof of your Covid-19 vaccination or negative test status on request, the information presented with a QR code to scan.
The code proving your vaccination is valid for 30 days from the time you access it or download it as a PDF, after which you will need to refresh it to get a new version.
A Covid Pass secured via a negative test result will only last 48 hours before a new version is needed (obtained via the same simple means).
If you can’t use the app for some reason, you can also check your vaccination status on the NHS website or print a hard copy at home before you travel to your destination.
Those who cannot access online services can also call 119 to request a letter serving as proof of their immunization status instead.
People unable to get vaccinated or have tests for medical reasons can apply to the NHS for an exemption to replace it.
You can find more information on the government website.