Vaccine passports look set to become a part of our daily lives as an important way to show whether we’ve been vaccinated.
The technology is controversial and has attracted scepticism as well as outright opposition from privacy campaigners.
The Government is preparing to launch its Covid Vaccine Status scheme from Monday. Here’s everything we know about how it will work:
What is a vaccine passport?
A vaccine passport should allow travellers who have had a jab, and therefore are likely to have strong immunity against coronavirus, to travel more easily. Some countries have made having a vaccine or a recent test a prerequisite for entry.
A so-called vaccine passport allows users to show an official document, physical or digital, that confirms they are jabbed.
The UK is planning to add a Covid Vaccine Status form to the official NHS app - not the NHS Covid 19 app - from May 17.
How do I download the NHS app?
The official NHS app is available to download for most major smartphones. The app you’ll need to download to access the vaccine passport scheme is simply called “NHS app”.
The contact tracing app, called NHS COVID 19, is separate and will not include vaccine passports.
Open your App Store if using an iPhone, or the Google Play Store on an Android phone. Search for “NHS app” and it should be the top result.
The app is compatible with most Android smartphones. Any device running Android 5.0 and higher will be able to download and use it.
How does the app work?
The NHS app works by allowing people to register details such as their name, postcode and NHS number to link the app with their health record held by their GP.
This information is then shown in the app once people have logged into it, allowing them to see their vaccination record as well as other medical information such as allergies and appointment records.
The vaccination record held by the NHS will be shown inside the app and the Government is planning to introduce a way for people with the app to easily show that record without also exposing their medical information.
Will the NHS vaccine passports be accepted abroad?
The Government’s plan is for the vaccine passport scheme to be accepted abroad so that travellers can be allowed into other countries. However, the exact list of countries that will accept the app has not yet been announced.
It is hoped the NHS vaccine passport scheme will be compatible with the EU’s Digital Green Certificate scheme as well as the International Air Transport Association’s Travel Pass scheme.
The Government has said that Britons who can prove they have been fully vaccinated should satisfy the entry requirements of a growing list of countries including Greece, Croatia and Spain.
Not every country has said it will need a vaccine certificate. Spain, for instance, will not require a Covid vaccine certificate or negative test from British tourists when crossing its borders from May 20.
Will the app be required to enter places like pubs or offices?
While the Government has been considering the possibility of a vaccine passport for private events such as pubs, restaurants and cinemas, The Telegraph understands the prospect of this actually happening is low. Several ministers are uneasy about the implications for privacy and individual freedoms.
While there is agreement that using the NHS app will work for overseas travel, it is thought domestic use will be scaled back.
It remains unclear if they will still be needed for some larger gatherings. Passports have already had the backing of major sporting bodies as a way to get fans back into stadiums.
There have been concerns that widespread use of such a vaccine certification to participate in daily life would be discriminatory.
How much of my personal data will be shared with the app?
Using the NHS app requires a certain amount of personal data. This can include your name, phone number, post code, although not your exact location, and email address. You can also enable other features such as facial recognition for logging into the app.
Will I be able to turn location tracking off?
The app will not need to track your exact location. It will simply show a form confirming your vaccine status. The current NHS app does use location services data.
What if I do not have a smartphone?
If you don’t have a smartphone, the Government can send you a letter with your vaccine status on it. From May 17, you can call 119 to speak to the NHS who can then send you an official note. This will take at least five working days.
What about children?
Since children are not yet eligible for Covid vaccines, they will not be able to use the vaccine passport function. They may have to get a negative test instead if they are travelling abroad and show proof of this.
How do vaccine passports work in other countries?
Israel has given inoculated citizens a Green Pass so they can use gyms and hotels. The system allows citizens who have been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or who have had a recent negative test to congregate in venues that have been closed for months such as theatres and nightclubs.
China has built a vaccine passport system into WeChat, its most popular social network. Denmark has developed a "Coronapas" system granting access to hairdressers, restaurants and cinemas for immunised citizens.
France is considering a "health pass" allowing vaccinated people to resume leisure activities.
Bahrain has introduced the "BeAware" app that can be used to prove that subjects have received two doses of a jab.