Grant Shapps has encouraged people to download the NHS app from today as it now provides evidence of a person’s vaccination status.
The transport minister has advised people to download the app on the same day international leisure travel is finally legal again in England.
The NHS app is different from the Covid-19 proximity app that alerts people to local coronavirus rates and exposure.
Writing on Twitter, Shapps said: “As of TODAY, the NHS app shows your COVID-19 Vaccine Record. Note: this is the main NHS app which contains your private medical records (once you request & your GP provides access) not the separate Covid proximity app.
“As step 3 of our roadmap out of lockdown begins, more people will be travelling at home and internationally. Be prepared: Plan ahead before travel, wear a face covering if not exempt, remember transport services will be busier”.
His comments come as thousands of people departed on international flights after the ban on foreign holidays was lifted for people in England.
From today, 17 May, jetting off on a foreign holiday is possible under a traffic light system, with countries classified as green, amber or red and prescribed restrictions to match based on the risk of arrivals importing new Covid-19 infections.
Although holidays are no longer prohibited, there are still myriad hoops travellers must jump through, including pre-departure and post-arrival coronavirus tests taken within a certain timeframe.
The government is currently advising that Brits should not be visiting amber or red countries for recreational purposes, however.
Speaking on Times Radio, health secretary Matt Hancock warned that destinations on the amber list, such as Spain, Italy, France and Greece, are “places that you shouldn’t go to unless you have an absolutely compelling reason.”
Great swathes of the economy are also reopening today, with indoor socialising permitted again for the first time in months, and hotels and tourist attractions able to welcome back visitors.