THE IRISH Government is set to introduce a COVID certificate application portal for all Irish passport holders who have been vaccinated overseas.
Good news if you’re thinking of making that trip home for Christmas!
Any passport holders who have been immunised against COVID-19 will be eligible to obtain the European Union Digital COVID Certificate.
The Government launched the portal on Wednesday 29 September, with Health Minister Stephen Donnelly assuring applicants that the scheme will ultimately ease the transition into normality and open up struggling sectors within the Irish economy, such as the Travel Industry.
Speaking to Schengen Visa Info, the Minister said: “I am delighted to announce that… we are expanding the service to allow Irish passport-holders who have been vaccinated outside of the EU to access an EU Digital COVID Certificate.
This service will be made available to Irish citizens who have been vaccinated in Northern Ireland from [Thursday 30 September], with the service extending to other Irish citizens in October.”
The EU Digital Certificate gateway was introduced in the summer following an attempt to get things moving across the European Common Travel Area.
Ireland joined the scheme on July 19, with access being opened up to fully-vaccinated citizens who had received immunisation from any of the following vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA):
- Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty)
- Oxford-AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria or Covishield)
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
As announced on Wednesday, the COVID certificate scheme will be managed in two phases.
Phase one has already been completed, with Irish citizens in Northern Ireland having been made eligible from September 30.
Applicants are required to hold a valid Irish passport as well as a QR code issued by the Northern Ireland Health Service to confirm that the recipient has been fully vaccinated. This QR code, in turn, is recognised by the Department for Health in the Republic of Ireland.
Phase 2 takes place on October 21, when Irish citizens who live outside the European Union will be eligible; provided they have been fully immunised by one of the vaccines on the EMA’s approval list.
This means that in the run-up to Christmas, all Irish citizens, travellers from the European Common Travel Area, as well as travellers from the UK, the USA and Canada, will be permitted to enter the Irish State, on the condition that they can provide proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 within 180 days of travel.