Traveling across Europe is set to get easier for UK travelers as the European Union confirmed today that NHS-issued COVID-19 vaccination certificates are now equivalent to EU-issued certs for travel across the bloc.

The EU digital COVID cert is a measure that was introduced in July to facilitate travel across EU. It allows individuals to present their vaccination, recovery or testing status in either digital or paper format through a QR code that can easily be scanned at borders, similar to airline boarding passes, and allows for relatively unrestricted travel across the EU.

Initially it was only available to residents of the EU and Schengen Area countries, but in recent weeks other countries and territories were connected to the system, including Israel, Morocco, Panama, Andorra, Monaco, the Faroe Islands and – most recently – Armenia and the UK.

The UK's inclusion means that the NHS COVID pass will be accepted across the bloc and in countries signed up to the system, much in the same way that EU-issued COVID certificates are. Most EU countries already accept the NHS cert as proof of vaccination but this should make traveling easier, creating a more streamlined process at border checks, and when enjoying activities in countries where proof of vaccination is required to enter venues such as restaurants, bars, theaters and museums.

A digital "green pass", showing a level of immunity or Covid-19 test, on a diners phone
Italy is one of the EU countries where proof of vaccination is required to access many venues ©Getty Images

“Safer travel is a reality thanks to the EU digital COVID certificate, which is now the leading global standard: 45 countries in four continents are connected to the system and more will follow in the coming weeks and months. We are open to other countries to join our system,” Didier Reynders, the EU commissioner for justice, said in a statement.

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