Nearly two million international travel certs will be issued from today.
The EU Digital COVID Certificates (DCC) will allow people travel anywhere in the EU.
They were officially rolled in every other member state at the start of the month and Ireland will begin accepting them on July 19th.
People are eligible for them if they fully vaccinated, have fully recovered from COVID or undergo a negative COVID test.
The certs being sent out this week are going to fully vaccinated people. They will be sent through post to people who were vaccinated by their GP or pharmacist and through email to people who registered through the vaccine portal.
Travel expert Eoghan Corry told Newstalk that people then have one final step to take before heading to the airport.
“They will get their emails,” he said. “They won’t get their QR code – the famous QR code – in the email; they will get a link to download it.”
“We don’t know how the technology is going to cope with the volume and there is a call centre set up but in other countries they have dealt with large numbers of requests in the opening days quite successfully.”
People who have recovered from COVID in the last 180 days can also apply to the HSE for the cert.
A dedicated DCC website and call centre is due to be established; however, it has yet to go live.
People aiming to get the cert by testing positive must organise a test through a private provider.
“If the destination country is going through a spike in numbers, the restrictions will apply to those who are unvaccinated,” he said.
“They will still be required to take tests – tests right across Europe mean antigen tests – but as of today, Ireland is still requiring a PCR test on return.
“It remains to be seen whether that will change on July 19th.”
Most countries in the EU accept negative antigen tests taken in the 48 hours before travelling; however, Ireland currently only accepts PCR tests from returning passengers.
The restrictions in place in countries across the EU are available here.
The Department of Foreign Affairs provides details of non-EU countries here.
The Department of Transport has confirmed that children aged seven to 18 need a negative PCR test before travelling to Ireland.