Apply for a COVID exemption certificate
Some people cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 for medical reasons. If this is the case, you can apply for a certificate that provides proof of medical exemption from the need for vaccination.
COVID exemption certificates
If you get proof of medical exemption, you will be able to access a domestic-use COVID certificate.
To apply for this exemption, a helpline is available to access a printed certificate. Once received, you will receive instructions to download a digital certificate if you wish.
This certificate is not accepted by other countries for the purposes of travel.
If you do not have access to digital services, a helpline is available to get a printed certificate.
The domestic-use COVID certificate provided will be the same as the domestic certificate used by people who are fully vaccinated for domestic use and will not show why you have a medical exemption.
The possible reasons for exemptions are limited. Examples of situations where someone may be exempt are:
- receiving end of life care (palliative care) where vaccination is not in the person's best interests
- having a learning disability or autistic people who cannot be vaccinated with reasonable adjustments
- people with a medical contraindication to all current vaccines, such as a severe allergy
- those who had serious adverse reactions to their first dose
- time-limited exemptions will also be available for those with some short-term medical conditions
How to apply and receive your COVID cert medical exemption
Phone the COVID certification service helpline on 0300 200 7814, (available Monday to Sunday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm). Select option five and say that you wish to apply for a COVID certificate medical exemption.
The call handler will ask some questions. A carer can apply on your behalf.
If you are eligible to apply for medical exemption you will get an application form by post.
You will need to give:
- your name
- your date of birth
- your address
- your Health and Social Care number (if you know it)
- the name of your specialist clinician and/ or GP – your application will be reviewed by the nominated clinician who will be asked to confirm the reason for exemption
Return your application form to the relevant specialist clinician or GP stated on the form.
Your clinician may ask to speak with you if needed, but you won’t need to book this when you submit your application.
You will get the results of your application by post two to three weeks after applying.
You don’t need to contact the specialist doctor or your GP unless they ask you to.
Everyone is encouraged to get vaccinated. If you are unable to receive a vaccination for any other reason that does not fall under the requirements for an exemption you can avail of a recovery certificate or use a lateral flow test result as proof of immunity.