Need Help Applying for Your NI Covid Certificate? Here’s All Your Need to Know

Need help applying for your NI Covid Certificate? New vaccine passport helpline received 3,000 calls per day

A new helpline set up for issues arising when applying for a Covid-19 vaccination certificate is getting 3,000 calls a day according to reports from the Department of Health.

The Department of Health told the Good Morning Ulster that almost 50,000 applications have been made since Monday.

Director of the Covid Certification Service Eddie O’Neill, spoke to Good Morning Ulster this week. He said that hospitality really needs “an easy solution that they can quickly scan”, adding that around 200 staff are at work on the helpline which is “incredibly busy”.

He said: “What hospitality needs is an easy solution that they can quickly scan and know whether people have a valid certificate or not.

“If everyone comes and registers now, QR codes are the way to do that.

“We have designers reviewing the whole journey from end to end to see if there are improvements that can be made.”

Hospitality businesses across the Province are now required to check that those entering their premises have either been vaccinated against Covid-19, have recently recovered from Covid-19 or have a negative Covid-19 test result (taken in the previous 48 hours).

Covid certification is required at the following settings:

  • indoor events (where some or all of the audience are not normally seated) with 500 or more attendees
  • outdoor events (where some or all of the audience are not normally seated) with 4,000 or more attendees
  • events where more than 10,000 people will be present, regardless of whether or not they will be seated
  • Nightclubs
  • Licensed Hospitality premises and unlicensed premises for the duration of the time when they are operating under an occasional licence or when BYO alcohol is consumed
  • Cinemas, theatres and conference halls

There are three stages to the application process for digital certification:

  1. Provide confirmation of your identity by setting up your personal NI Direct account.
  2. Apply for the foreign travel Covid certification app for your phone or other mobile device. You don’t need to be travelling abroad anytime soon to apply for this. The app will also automatically renew itself.
  3. After you get your foreign travel certificate in the document wallet of the app, click on the button to activate a domestic use certification. This will include taking a selfie pic that will provide photo ID when entering premises (so you won’t ned to bring additional ID).
  4. If you already have the COVIDCert NI app and got a travel certificate, you should be able to see an option to apply for a domestic certificate in the app.
  5. The NI COVID certificate is valid for three months from the date of application and digital certificates will automatically renew a week before they are due to expire.

If you cannot apply online, you can request a paper version of vaccine certification using the telephone service 0300 200 7814, available Monday to Sunday from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm.

This process will take longer than the digital process and you will be required to verify your identity in person by presenting documents at an appointed time and location – once these checks have been completed it may take up to 10 working days for the printed certificate to arrive.