COVID: What are the rules on the new COVID pass put in place today?

It has become mandatory to show Covid passes in England for nightclubs and other larger venues from today.

The new guidelines which go into effect today require confirmation of double vaccination or a recent negative test to enter specific locations. The changes came after Dr Jenny Harries, the UK Health Security Agency's chief executive, warned against Omicron. She predicted that there will be a staggering spread of the Omicron variant in the coming days.

With infections presently doubling in less than two days in most UK regions, the new variant is ‘probably the most significant threat we've had since the start of the pandemic.’ As such, face masks continue to be worn in most indoor settings and vaccination remains compulsory for NHS workers in England.

What are the new rules?

After MPs supported the plans, people in England will be required to present their Covid status to enter nightclubs and many other establishments. Similar Covid passport programmes already exist in the remainder of the United Kingdom. Visitors over the age of 18 are required by law to have their Covid status checked at some places and events. This is true for:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor unseated events for more than 500 people
  • Outdoor unseated events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any venue that has an event for more than 10,000 people

To enter these venues, you would need to show either of the following:

  • a Covid Pass from the NHS stating that you've had two doses of an authorized vaccine (or a single dose of Janssen vaccine)
  • a negative PCR or rapid lateral flow test (LFT) result obtained within the previous 48 hours (the NHS Covid Pass can also show this if the LFT was reported)
  • you are exempt due to a medical condition or are participating in a clinical study

Communal worship, wedding ceremonies, funerals, protests, and mass-participation sporting events are the exceptions to the new rules.

How to get a Covid pass?

It is seemingly easy to get a Covid pass to show as proof. If you are over 18 and have a registered GP, you can obtain the Covid pass from a domestic NHS app or website. However, you can get a Covid pass after two weeks of your second dose. You can also request a letter from the NHS to confirm your vaccination status, or send test results to NHS Test and Trace through text message or email.

COVID-19: Here are all the new restrictions in the UK COVID-19: Here are all the new restrictions in the UK