Users trying to access their NHS passes online last night encountered an error message: “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.”
The official NHS Twitter account then gave several assurances that developers were working on the technical issues with the website and app.
Not long after midnight, the NHS tweeted: “We have identified the cause of the intermittent issues with the NHS COVID Pass and are working urgently to resolve it. We apologise for any disruption caused by these issues.”
The NHS website and app experienced another major outage on 13 October, with the Covid Pass function out of action for four-and-a-half hours.
Some travellers reported being unable to access their Covid vaccine certificates at the airport, where many airlines and destinations require you to show proof of vaccination before travel or at the border.
Travellers usually have a short window during check-in and going through security in which to show their proof of vaccination, so hours-long outages of this one, centralised system could be a real problem for holidaymakers.
Doubled-jabbed travellers can also download their Covid Pass for travel in advance, to avoid being caught out by digital glitches like yesterday’s.
In October, journalist Caroline Frost told Sky News that she had missed her flight to France due to the technical glitch.
“I had all this previous documentation, but there was nothing they could do,” she said.
“It was a jobsworth moment. [The airline staff member] said ‘I sympathise, but there is nothing I can do’. She phoned her superior, there was nothing he could do.
“It was immensely frustrating, and it felt like such a waste of money. And of course, when the app is up and running I am the same person, I’m going to be in the same condition of vaccinated eligibility to travel.”
The outage happened shortly after Boris Johnson announced an increase to the use of vaccine passports, which will be needed to access larger events and nightclubs across the UK from next week.