International COVID Pass Verifier app user guide
Issued by the NHSX Communications team
22 September v3
Download a printable version of the international user guide (PDF, 537 KB)
The NHS COVID Pass Verifier app
The official NHS COVID Pass Verifier app is a secure way to verify an individual’s NHS COVID Pass and check that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, had a negative test, or have recovered from COVID-19.
A user can use the app to scan and verify an individual’s NHS COVID Pass for international travel.
The app can be used to scan a 2D barcode and display the data held within an individual’s NHS COVID Pass. It does not store or transmit any personal data during this process.
This user guide helps travel operators to use the NHS COVID Pass Verifier app to show if an English or Welsh resident traveling abroad has the necessary COVID-19 status for international travel.
The protection of user privacy is central to the NHS COVID Pass Verifier. Its purpose is to display COVID Pass status information in a clear and readable manner upon each scan.
The NHS COVID Pass Verifier app does not retain people’s personal data. It only gathers metric-related information about the application itself, in order that the performance of the app can be monitored.
The collected metric data cannot be referenced back to any individual NHS COVID Pass user.
Read the Verifier terms and conditions.
Staff will need to download and install the Verifier app on a mobile device.
The app is available from either the Apple App Store (for iOS Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android devices).
See visual of the app in yellow.
The NHS COVID Pass Verifier app works both in offline and online mode, both with or without wifi.
However please note that the app will need periodic access to the internet to download public key certificates that it uses to check the validity of the COVID Pass. A public key certificate, also known as a digital certificate or identity certificate, is an electronic document used to prove the ownership of a public key.
Open the NHS COVID Verifier app by clicking on the yellow NHS COVID Pass Verifier app logo (step 1).
When used for the first time, the consent agreement screen will display. The first time the user applies the Verifier app, the user is asked to agree on a consent form, by clicking "I agree". The app will not function if user agreement is not obtained.
This landing page in the app in a blue screen showing the NHS logo and the app name, COVID Pass Verifier.
Click on "Check a 2D barcode". A two-dimensional (2D) barcode looks like squares or rectangles that contain many small, individual dots, see sample below.
When opening the camera on your mobile device for the first time, please click "OK" to allow the app to have permission to use the camera. The screen shot below is from an Android phone. A similar screen and permission request will display on an iOS (Apple) phone.
The default scanning function is for domestic use. To scan a 2D barcode for international travel, please tap the question mark in the top right corner. You only need to do this the first time to enable the ability to scan international barcodes (not every time).
To enable the Verifier to scan a 2D barcode for international travel, please slide the toggle to "Verify international 2D barcode".
The first time you toggle the functionality to scan a 2D barcode for international travel, the user needs to agree to terms and conditions, and confirm that they are an approved travel provider. This can be a carrier within an airline, or a port or ferry operator. Please click "I agree".
To scan the NHS COVID Pass of your customer
Your travel customer will show their NHS COVID Pass. This will be on a smartphone, tablet or printed off as a paper PDF. Direct your mobile’s camera at the 2D barcode displayed on the guest’s printed PDF, or at the 2D barcode displayed on their smartphone.
Note: The Verifier app can scan the NHS COVD Pass via a mobile or tablet or where someone has printed off a PDF version from their phone.
It is not able to scan the 1D barcode on a letter which your customer has requested by telephoning 119.
Once the scanner has been pointed at a 2D barcode, it automatically starts scanning the code.
Read results from a 2D international barcode
If an international 2D barcode is scanned and there are records found in the 2D barcode, the data that is held within the 2D barcode is displayed, for example:
- Date of birth
- Date of expiry of the 2D barcode
- Data of the vaccination or test records
- Summary of vaccination or test events.
By clicking the arrow, the vaccination data expands. The data may show details of 1 or 2 vaccines, depending on which vaccine they received. If the person received 2 vaccines, there will be 2 barcodes, both of which will need scanning. The single-dose vaccine will only show 1 barcode to be scanned.
If a screen is displayed saying "2D barcode not recognised", this may be because the scanned barcode is an incorrect code, or a section of a valid code has been obscured. Press "Hold to pause". This pauses the screen with the result for approximately 3 seconds. You should see the screen where you can scan the barcode.
If the COVID-19 status has expired, this is shown by this screen. Your travel customer will need to demonstrate their COVID-19 status via another means, such as via the NHS.UK website or via a letter.
Using Apple Wallet
From 23 September 2021
Your customer will be able to store their NHS COVID Pass for international use into their Apple Wallet using an Apple iPhone. To do this, they will see the ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ button on their phone screen within the NHS App. If they store both international and domestic NHS COVID Passes, they will see two separate cards stored in their Apple Wallet.
You will be able to verify their NHS COVID Pass using the Verifier app by scanning their 2D barcode, as detailed in this user guide. This is the screen you will scan below. Please ensure you check the expiry date shown on their COVID Pass as the date does not refresh automatically. Customers need to store an updated NHS COVID Pass in their Apple Wallet before they next plan to use it, if their original COVID Pass is due to expire.
Frequently asked questions
I’m having issues using the Verifier app, what do I do?
If the Verifier app does not work, please delete the application and reinstall it. You may be required to undertake a software update on your mobile device too.
Can a member of the public download this app?
As the Verifier will be available in the Google or Apple app store, it can or might be downloaded by a member of the public. However, in line with the data protection elements detailed above, downloading the app does not present a security risk.
Why is the NHS COVID Pass Verifier app unable to scan a 2D barcode?
The Verifier app is able to scan the NHS COVD Pass via a mobile or tablet or where someone has printed off a PDF version from their phone. It is not able to scan the 1D barcode on a letter which your customer has requested by telephoning 119.
Hence, if your travel customer is using a letter to display their COVID-19 status, then you will need to undertake a visual check of the letter and the expiry date shown.
How does your travel customer show their COVID Pass on their mobile device?
The NHS COVID Pass can be accessed via the NHS App or via NHS.UK.
International travellers are encouraged to download and register for the NHS App in advance of booking their travel.
International travellers should continue to follow the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to, such as proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival. They are recommended to research the requirements of their destination country before travelling.
See the GOV.UK advice about travelling abroad from England during the pandemic.