EU travel cert: Several options for people to get them

Antigen tests will have to be carried out by a professional to qualify for the EU digital COVID c...
Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

12.21 21 Jun 2021

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EU travel cert: Several option...

EU travel cert: Several options for people to get them

Sean Defoe
Sean Defoe

12.21 21 Jun 2021

Share this article

Antigen tests will have to be carried out by a professional to qualify for the EU digital COVID cert for travel.

This afternoon, the Minister of State for EGovernment Ossian Smyth has been appearing before the Seanad to outline how people will be able to apply for the European COVID Certificate to travel abroad.

There are three ways to qualify for the cert – by being fully vaccinated, by producing a negative COVID-19 test result or showing that you have recovered from the virus within the last 180 days.


"So firstly, how do you apply?” said Minister Smyth. “In the case of a test certificate you go to an accredited laboratory, and they send your certificate to you.

"So, you give your e-mail address at the time and it [is sent] on to you, and you choose whether you want paper or on your phone.

"How do you apply for a vaccination certificate or recovery certificate? The HSE will e-mail you and contact you, and you can opt to download it from there."

Antigen tests

The Government is preparing to adopt the EU system to system to allow for holidays in four weeks' time.

It has yet to decide whether to accept antigen tests as part of the EU travel system, but other countries may choose to.

Minister Smyth said any test will have to be carried out by a professional.

“You can have an antigen test on your certificate and if somebody accepts that in another country, that is great,” he said.

“If the Minister for Health and the Government decides to accept antigen tests coming in, then they will be accepted too.

“The antigen test however, must be performed by a professional. Either a medical professional or somebody who is qualified to do it and I think the current rate is not that much cheaper than a PCR test so I think that is something to bear in mind.”

EU digital COVID cert: How will it all work?

It comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the Government's advice on traveling abroad for younger people will differ to what the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is recommending.

On Sunday, Mr Varadkar told Newstalk that it would not be fair to stop people who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 from undertaking international travel.

International travel is set to resume on July 19th when Ireland introduces the EU digital COVID cert.

It will allow people to travel anywhere in the EU - provided they are fully vaccinated, have fully recovered from COVID within the last nine months or undergo a negative PCR test in the 72 hours before travelling.

CMO Dr Holohan has urged people not to travel anywhere unless they are fully vaccinated.

Mr Varadkar said while he understands where Dr Holohan is coming from, the Government disagrees.

"It wouldn't be the first or only time that the advice from the CMO is not necessarily going to be the same policy as government or what we put into law" he said.

"What Tony Holohan is saying is entirely understandable from a public health and scientific point of view.

"It is much safer if we only allow fully vaccinated people to travel, if you're fully vaccinated you're very unlikely to pick up the virus and therefore very unlikely to transmit it to other people when you return home.

"That's not the case when you're not fully vaccinated but we think it would be unfair to say to families and younger people, who haven't got the opportunity to get vaccinated yet because we haven't had the supply, that you can't travel abroad.

"That's why we've put in very strict rules which is the requirement of a PCR test before you return to the country."

Additional reporting: Jack Quann and Michael Staines

Main image: A coronavirus passport with a QR code on a mobile phone at Rotterdam Airport, Netherlands. Picture by: Utrecht Robin/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

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Digital COVID Cert Dr Tony Holohan EU Digital COVID Certificate EU Travel Cert Leo Varadkar Ossian Smyth

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