Duomo at sunrise, Milan, Europe.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about the rather cumbersome tasks people face traveling into Europe right now. Maily, getting setup with a digital vaccination QR code to enter indoor spaces, and cross borders.

The European Union (EU) system for digital covid-19 vaccination verification is among the very best in the world, but there are few ways to easily sync up any foreign proof of vaccination digitally, with the system.

That’s rapidly changing, as a number of non-EU countries sign on to use the EU digital covid-19 pass system and that now extends to the UK.

Europeans can use their EU digital covid-19 pass app to enter the UK, and Brits can use their NHS digital app proof to enter countries, as well as enjoy any daily activities on the ground in Europe.

a blue flag with yellow stars on a wooden surface

EU DCC: What’s Changed

The European Union created an incredible digital system where digital proof of vaccination from one country works in all.

It’s incredible if you have a pass, or can get one from abroad, but it’s been frustrating for many, who arrive from outside the European Union without knowing they need digital proof (rather than a simple paper card), and will be required to constantly test for covid-19, to receive one in a given country.

After weeks of back and forth about whether the NHS system would work across Europe, that answer has now come. The UK worked with the EU to make QR codes work across both platforms, so anyone entering the EU from the UK with their NHS app would be recognized, just as if it was the EU DCC app.

The same applies in reverse, for UK arrivals. This instantly means Brits hoping to enter museums, hotels, restaurants or shops across Europe can use their trusty NHS app QR code to do so, and vice versa for any situations in the UK which requires the same.

Digital Vaccination Proof Is Increasingly Important

Countries like Singapore are opening up travel again, but only to those bearing digital, secured proof of covid-19 vaccination. Paper certificates just aren’t good enough in an increasing list of destinations, as the world looks to reopen, safely.

Opportunities to turn paper certificates into digital versions are finally emerging, and these long overdue integrations between countries are making any legwork to convert a paper certificate into a digital version absolutely worth it.

It’s great to see the EU and UK sync up on digital vaccination proof, which will make travel between one and the other much easier than at any point in the last year and counting.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Can non UK citizens get the UK pass? That would be ideal for us citizens traveling to uk and eu.

      1. But that’s still only for France and Germany trips right?
        Going to Milan, Vienna, Prague, London for Christmas…

    1. You don’t need to be a UK citizen to get a UK Pass, but you do need to be able to be registered with a “general Practitioner” – a local doctor – who is then your gateway to the NHS. You will get this as a student, long term visitor or if you get ill. They can then get you double vaxed, or you can get the Covid Pass by providing proof you had a positive PCR test within 90 days and recovered.

      1. It’s a bit complicated though. I’m a resident of the UK, but American citizen vaxxed in the USA. My GP specifically noted that he could note my vaccinations into his database, but not the NHS database. I’m unable to obtain an NHS covid-19 pass on this basis.

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