Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): certification - information for businesses and event organisers

How certification (COVID passport) operates and how it works for venues, businesses and event organisers.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): certification - information for businesses and event organisers


From 28 February 2022, the legal requirement to show a COVID-19 vaccine certificate or a record of a recent negative COVID-19 test (LFD or PCR) result to enter any premises or attend any event is lifted.

Businesses and event organisers may however wish to check their customers’ COVID-19 status on a voluntary basis as a way to make their customers feel safer.

Before you decide to voluntarily check people’s COVID-19 status, you should be clear about what you are trying to achieve and how asking people for their COVID-19 status helps to achieve this. A person’s COVID-19 status is special category data, as it is their private health information. Your use of this data must be fair, relevant and necessary for a specific purpose.

Your reason for checking people’s COVID-19 status must be clear, necessary, and transparent. If you cannot specify a use for doing this and are checking it on a ‘just in case’ basis, or if you can achieve your goal without checking the status of attendees, you are unlikely to be able to justify your approach.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published introductory guidance to help venues look after customers’ personal data while carrying out COVID-19 status checks, as well as detailed guidance on what considerations need to be made by individual businesses in reaching a decision in whether to put in place such checks.

We do not consider that it would be appropriate to request evidence of COVID-19 status from people who are under the age of 18, or as a condition of entry at the following settings:

  • essential services such as hospitals or pharmacies
  • essential retailers such as supermarkets
  • public transport
  • schools and other education settings

If, having satisfied yourselves as a business that you have sufficient legal justification to carry out COVID-19 checks, you decide to carry them out, this guidance provides information about how businesses can check people’s COVID-19 status. There is separate guidance for customers.



First published: 28 Sep 2021 Last updated: 28 Feb 2022 -