NHS Covid app crash causes panic for thousands of UK holidaymakers

NHS Covid app crash causes panic for thousands of UK holidaymakers. image: Twitter

An NHS Covid app crash caused panic among thousands of UK holidaymakers ready to fly out of the country today.

Panicked travellers- many waiting in departure lounges at airports across the UK- were flooding NHS helplines to ask about the Digital Covid Pass, which suffered a widespread outage today, Wednesday, October 13.

The feature in the NHS smartphone app should allow users to access a barcode or text records about which vaccine doses they have had, essential for travel overseas.

Instead, users were receiving error messages or a notice saying that high traffic volumes are “limiting access to the service”. NHS Digital posted on Twitter, saying that it was investigating the issue.

“There are currently issues with accessing the Covid Pass on the NHS App and website. We are investigating the issue and will update as soon as we can,” said the statement on Twitter.

Many replies to the tweet were received from worried travellers who were not sure they could prove their vaccinated status – including one person who claimed they had missed their flight because of the problem.

It is possible of course to save an offline version of the Covid Pass to a mobile phone- in pdf format- which remains valid for 30 days. Some users had fortunately screenshoted their barcode, iPhone users can also save a version directly to their Apple Wallet.

However, those methods needed to have been done before the system went down and not everyone was able to prove they were Covid free.


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.


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