The NHS UK digital app discussions are still continuing with the UK, the Health Minister confirmed in Tynwald.

Ramsey MHK Lawrie Hooper asked Mr Ashford what progress has been made with the NHS Digital App for vaccine travel certificates and what alternatives are available until the system goes live.

The Health Minister said: ’The NHS UK digital app discussions continue with the UK. As honourable members will be aware the Isle of Man have waited for the UK commission behind Wales and are now in intensive discussions with the NHS Digital team in the UK.’

He explained that there are three work streams in the planning, which include legal documentation.

This is because the Isle of Man is dependent on the UK providing this information for the Attorney General Chambers to review. The Health Minister said: ’This is currently the biggest risk to the roll out and we await the full suite of paperwork from the UK.’

Another aspect is the business change processes, which include the mapping of the service island residents will receive, the processes the UK will undertake, and how the manual letters if needed will be issued.

The final aspect is the technical transfer.

Mr Ashford said: ’The teams have been working on this for some time, and subject to final testing from the UK we believe this element is complete.’

For those travelling internationally in the next two weeks, an option to receive a letter to confirm their vaccination status is available via calling Manx Care.

Island residents travelling to the UK can use their vaccination card or screenshot from their GP record as evidence for the Isle of Man landing card upon their return.

Mr Ashford said: ’The DHSC and wider government colleagues will continue to keep the programme focus on the work with the UK NHS Digital team and we hope to have this complete in a matter of weeks.

’Updates are given to Council of Ministers each week and we are aware that the UK political system support the importance of this roll out for Isle of Man residents.’