Not everyone will receive Covid travel certs today, says Varadkar

ireland
Not Everyone Will Receive Covid Travel Certs Today, Says Varadkar
Over 1.9 million EU Digital Covid Certificates will be issued from today. Photo: PA Wire/PA Images
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James Cox

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said not everyone will receive their EU Digital Covid Certificate today.

The proof of vaccination will be issued to approximately 1.9 million people from today, ahead of the reopening of international travel on July 19th.

The cert can be used to travel at ease through ports and airports across the European Union and is being issued to those who are fully vaccinated, have recently recovered from Covid-19, or who have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travel.

However, Mr Varadkar said it will take time for the certs to be sent out, according to the Irish Examiner.

"It's quite a big operation being led by the Office of Government Procurement also with the help of the Revenue Commissioners.

"I wouldn't anticipate everyone will get their digital cert today, it might take a little bit longer than that," Mr Varadkar said.

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The Tánaiste also stressed that people who have received their doses must also wait the specified number of days before they are considered fully vaccinated.

"It's important to say that people aren't fully vaccinated until a week or two after their second dose, or two weeks in the case of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine," Mr Varadkar added.

Those who received their jab at HSE vaccination centres will get their certs by email, while people who attended a pharmacy or GP for their shot will receive it in the post.

Random checks

Also speaking today, acting Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys defended the decision to only have random checks at border control for people arriving into the country with the Covid certs.

Ms Humphreys told RTÉ radio’s News at One that random checks were considered appropriate and that the measures were an attempt to streamline the system.

“All EU travellers will have the same checks, as I've said we have increased resources, that's the approach we're taking. We consider that to be appropriate, we consider that to be safe.

"We're talking here about the increased number of people who're going to come through the airport. At the minute there's not nearly so many as there will be when international travel opens, we have to be practical about this," Ms Humphreys said.

The Minister also explained the cert will also be used to access indoor hospitality: "It is envisaged that the pub and restaurant would check compliance with the new hospitality pass to allow indoor access to their premises, there will be a certificate with a QR code that can be scanned or checked," she said.

Covid spikes

Earlier today, Eoghan Corry, editor of Air and Travel Magazine, says travellers who are not vaccinated could face difficulties if a country has a spike in cases.

“There are going to be restrictions if the destination country is going through a spike in numbers, the restrictions will apply to those who are unvaccinated,” he told Newstalk.

“They will still be required to take tests rights across Europe, antigen tests, but on return Ireland is still requiring as of today a PCR test on return, it remains to be seen if that will change on July 19th.”

“We don't know how the technology of that is going to cope with the volume, and there is a call centre set up,” Mr Corry added.

“In other countries, they've dealt with large volumes of requests in the opening days quite successfully.”

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