British citizens living in Norway have been unable to get an NHS Covid pass which is needed to attend certain events in the UK and, from September, may be required to enter bars and other venues.
This is because British citizens living abroad have struggled to, or are unable to, get their coronavirus vaccines registered with the National Health Service in order to use the app.
The app isn’t just used for vaccines. It’s also used as proof of testing negative for the coronavirus before events.
In July, UK Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said that UK nationals vaccinated abroad would be able to ask GPs to verify their jabs taken abroad.
In reality, this has still made it difficult for Brits living in Norway to get the NHS app. Brits living in Norway cannot access the NHS app because when they move abroad, they will no longer be automatically registered with a GP. Being registered with a GP is a requirement for accessing the NHS app.
Those who aren’t registered are therefore currently unable to either have their doses registered or access the app, which visitors may need when visiting bars and restaurants from September, according to reports.
In some cases, Brits returning to the UK can re-register if they use a temporary address such as a friend or family’s house.
This, in theory, offers an opportunity for Brits visiting the UK to get their jabs taken in Norway recognised. In practice, this may not be worth it for many taking short trips to the UK, though.
A spokesperson for the UK Government told newspaper The Guardian on Sunday that it was working at speed to make sure that UK residents who have received jabs abroad would have access to the NHS.
“We are urgently working to access the data for UK residents who have received their vaccinations abroad to ensure eligible individuals can demonstrate their vaccination status via the NHS Covid pass,” the spokesperson said.
They didn’t add anything about British citizens living in other countries full-time, however.
What if I want to register a vaccine taken in the UK in Norway
This is something many Brits in Norway have done and can be a relatively straightforward process.
Due to the UK’s progress with its vaccine programme, there are drop-in appointments for both the first and second jabs available.
For example, if you received your first jab in Norway but are visiting England soon, you could get your second jab in England and be classed as fully vaccinated on your return, exempting yourself from quarantine.
Norway allows people who have a Norwegian national identity number or D-number to register their doses with the Norwegian Immunisation Registry SYSVAK.
This can be done before or after your return to Norway. However, if you wish to register your vaccine before you return to Norway, you must book a private video consultation with either your local GP or a private health provider in Norway. A private consultation can cost up to 1,300 kroner, but prices vary depending on the provider.
You will show this to your doctor, who will decide whether the documentation can be approved before registering the jabs. Norway is only registering European Medicines Agency approved jabs. These are the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
A few days later, the jab will be registered with Norway’s digital health portal Helsenorge and appear on your Norwegian Covid certificate.
If you wish to register your jab after returning to Norway, then the process will be the same, but instead, you will be able to do the consultation in person.
You can read about the rules for registering a foreign vaccine in Norway here.