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Everything you need to know about the Digital Covid Certificate

If you're planning any travel after July 19th, the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC), once, fully up and running, will be considered an essential travel document, just like a passport.


by Jennifer McShane
12th Jul 2021

GETTY

Everything you need to know about the Digital Covid Certificate

 

Ireland is officially signing up to Europe’s DCC from this day week, and the certs are designed to facilitate Covid-safe travel throughout the EU this summer and will allow holders to bypass pandemic entry restrictions (unless of course, you become symptomatic while travelling). This means that from July 19th,  the Government’s position on only ‘travel for essential purposes’ will end.

Reports have suggested they may be also used in regards to indoor hospitality, but this has yet to be confirmed.

What is the EU Digital Covid Certificate?

The Digital Certificate is proof that a person has either been fully vaccinated by the EU’s approved jabs (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson) against Covid-19, has received a negative test result or a negative PCR test, or has recovered from Covid-19.

There are three types of certs: Vaccination, Recovery, or Negative test (PCR or Antigen).

The DCC is will come in the form of a QR code available on smartphones or on paper. Keeping it on both a phone and in paper version is advised in case a phone dies or you mislay the paper version.

How will people get their certs?

People who are fully vaccinated should get their cert without requesting one, with the process of sending out over 1 million certs set to begin today.

People will either receive their certs via email or in the post.

People who were vaccinated through a GP, hospital or pharmacy are more likely to receive their cert in the post, and Those who were vaccinated through the HSE’s online registration portal will receive their cert via the email they used as part of that process. So don’t forget to check your spam!

What if I have recovered from Covid-19?

The HSE has a record of all Covid positive test cases so anyone who has had Covid in the last six months is entitled to a Digital Cert. You won’t automatically get your cert if this is the case – you must request it from the helpline which will be set up. You can request the Digital Cert 11 days after your positive test but the helpline is for emergencies only at the moment, advice is to wait until the week of July 19.

What if I don’t receive my cert?

There will undoubtedly be some glitches and at this early stage, the Government said that the Digital Cert is not yet a prerequisite to travel in the EU. You can still travel on existing documentation if you can show evidence you have been fully vaccinated, or have been tested for Covid-19.

However, a number of people have already received theirs and the Revenue Commission are sending out about 70,000-90,000  per day. The hope is that, come July 19, at least 1.9 million fully vaccinated people will have their certs.

Do I need a cert for indoor dining?

A DCC is not necessary to indoor dining but it can be used as part of the program. While it is as yet unclear what other “proof” of vaccination or Covid infection can be used to get into a restaurant or pub, your vaccination card or a signed letter from your GP are assumed to be acceptable. We won’t know for sure though until we hear from government.