It's always annoying if your phone's battery drains while you're traveling - but it's even worse if faulty technology means you can't even to startyour trip.
Wednesday an NHS app outage for England left frustrated users unable to prove their Covid vaccination status during check-in at the 'airport, which means many were unable to board flights. Others have been denied access to places requiring proof that people have been hit twice.
Although the NHS England app was restored after about four hours, the outage highlighted issues that may be caused by putting a single centralized system at the heart of modern life. In an age when people expect their online accounts to work.Instantly, a single government-run app that briefly goes offline can indeed end international travel for much of the population.
The problem is all the more urgent as Wales and Scotland have started to put in place mandatory checks - also known as 'Covid passports' - at the gates of certain places like nightclubs. If the inhabitants of these countries were not able to prove their immunization status during the evening hours due to a technical problem, large events could be left without any clients.
In Wales, where the policy went into effect this week, door staff at nightclubs had previously reported run ar with students who misunderstood the rules, saidThey may have run out of battery on their phone and couldn't show proof of vaccination, or had trouble uploading their proof of vaccination before last entry.
Scotland, which developed its own stand-alone app ahead of the planned introduction of mandatory vaccine checks next week, has also had issues with the technology. Premier Nicola Sturgeon apologized and said the "initial backlog " of users unable to access their health records has now been cleared.
Although Boris Johnson has - under pressure from his own Tory MPs - abandoned official plans for vaccine passports in England, some locals have voluntarily demanded either proof of a Covid vaccination or a negative test to access it. However, this has been applied on an uneven basis. At the Labor Party Annual Conferencein Brighton, visual checks were carried out to verify that participants had a QR code, but that it was not subject to a verification system.
People taking flights from the UK have become accustomed to viewing the QR codes generated by the service, which can usually be called up at any time. However, many Apple iPhone users are unaware that it is possible to save a copy of the NHS England vaccination certificate in their Apple Wallet, make sure it is always available offline and avoid the risk of service crashes.
Hard copies are also available, although governments do their best to encourage people to use digital equivalents cheaper.
A bigger problemrtant is for people currently traveling across Europe, where countries increasingly require proof of dual vaccination to enter bars, restaurants and public spaces. Brexit means Britons have so far been excluded from the EU-wide vaccination passport program, with many proof of vaccination QR codes produced by UK NHS apps not showing up. not accepted by local sites.
Discussions are underway on the full integration of UK data into the EU's Covid digital certificate system, but in the meantime, people planning a vacation in Europe are advised to prepare for technical difficulties - and to check in advance whether they wish to be allowed entry. Until then, many Britons traveling in Europe had put their British status in "TousAntiCovid" - an application produced by the French government which recognizes NHS vaccination certificates.