While the world continues to shake off Covid restrictions, there are still several countries that mandate Covid vaccination for foreign arrivals, including the US, Netherlands and Singapore.

Many thousands of people in the UK have been unable to be vaccinated due to medical conditions, learning difficulties, or allergic reactions to the vaccine, and until recently were able to apply for a medical certificate to verify this.

When the NHS Covid Pass was removed for domestic use, the medical exemptions service ceased to accept new applications. These were being processed until Monday 11 July this year, but have now ceased. This means that those who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds and who do not have an exemption certificate, cannot request one.

Government advice also states that: “pregnancy is no longer grounds for a medical exemption. Exemptions already granted based on pregnancy will remain valid until the expiry date.”

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What this means for travellers

The Department for Health and Social care says that medical exemption certificates are not valid for international travel, since there are no bilateral agreements that recognise vaccination exemption as a condition of entry.

Medical exemptions do not appear in the NHS Covid Pass for international travel, which – unlike the domestic pass – is still operational. Government guidance says that “it is up to other countries to decide whether or not residents in England with a medical exemption can follow the same rules for travel as those who are fully vaccinated.”

Scotland has also ended the exemption scheme. However, covid-pass-exemption”>residents in Wales can apply for an exemption form – though guidance stresses that certificates are not official documentation for international travel.

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