There has been an outcry from Irish passport holders across Northern Ireland after it was revealed that they would not be given access to the EU’s Digital Covid Certificate, despite previous indications from Taoiseach Mícheál Martin and other senior Irish government ministers otherwise.
Now politicians on both sides of the border are calling for clarity.
Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond said the Digital Covid Certificate is only available to those who were vaccinated by the HSE, the Irish health service, therefore making the Certificate unobtainable for most Irish passport holders in NI… at least during ‘Phase One’.
He called the situation “massively unclear and disappointing”.
The minister clarified: “Irish passport holders vaccinated elsewhere will be given a certificate in ‘phase two’ of the rollout. At the moment, however, we don’t know when this will be.
“I have been informed that in the meantime, those vaccinated elsewhere can still travel if they show their proof of vaccination in the airport.
“I’ve raised this with the Taoiseach, Minister for Health and my party colleagues, and I’ll continue to do so until we get clarity on this.”
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said “people who live across the island who hold an Irish passport should be able to access” the Digital Covid Certificate.
“I have raised the case with the Department of Health, and I have asked for a call with the Taoiseach,” she added.
“The issue needs resolved quickly. Many will choose to stay at home this year and holiday in Ireland, they need to have the same opportunities to go to a restaurant or take their children out for something to eat. This issue needs to be resolved speedily.
“People live and work north to south, so the systems across the island have to be flexible enough and responsive to recognise that reality.”