We’re firmly in the “get back up and running” part of the pandemic. Plans are coming into fruition to reopen industries in Ireland. We need to challenge a lot of how we think with things like dining outside becoming normal even it’s a bit chilly. Travel is also on the list of things everyone is eager to see return and EU travel has just received a massive boost. This comes as the EU confirms plans to introduce the EU Digital COVID Certificate to make it easier to travel safely within Europe. How will it work and what does it mean for Ireland?
What Is The EU Digital COVID Certificate?
The aim of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is to facilitate safe and free movement during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a standardised European approach to identifying documentation that confirms a person should, within a fair degree of certainty, be free from COVID-19 and be permitted to travel. The new deal between EU countries has paved the way for people to travel across the EU from the end of June.
The digital certificate will be available to all EU citizens who:
- have been vaccinated
- have tested negative with a PCR test
- have recovered from COVID-19
How Will The EU Digital COVID Certificate Work?
And here’s why we’re talking about it. The wonders of technology. I’ve said for years QR codes were going to have a moment and the pandemic is surely it. The cert will include a QR code, which can be displayed on a smartphone or printed including a digital signature, verified via EU Gateway.
Basically, once you meet the requirements, you’ll be able to apply for your digital cert which you’ll then be able to present while travelling.
Here’s a complete run down.
Will Ireland Use The New EU Travel Cert?
Yes. While the EU has stated it will remain “up to national governments to decide whether travellers with a certificate have to quarantine or get tested”, the also go further and say “member states should refrain from imposing additional travel restrictions, such as testing or quarantine, unless they are proportionate and necessary to safeguard public health”. While Ireland is in a unique position, having a unique border with the UK, it’s unlikely Government will buck the trend and make travel any more difficult than ti would be for other EU states. However, that possibility remains.
To coincide with re-opening travel, the EU has insisted that “Member states are encouraged to ensure that tests are affordable and widely available”. PCR tests, for the time being, will be the only accepted tests though the door has been left open for antigen testing in the event “scientific evidence becomes available”.
Now, the question is how quickly this can come into being and what degree the Irish Government will adopt it. Right now, it looks like Ireland might not be in a position to have the system up and running until August.