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'Delays' Call centre for EU travel cert queries overwhelmed with ‘very high number of calls’

A spokesperson for the Department said that users calling the centre may experience “delays” due to “a very high volume of calls."

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The call centre dealing with queries for the EU Digital Covid Cert has been overwhelmed with “a very high number of calls” since it began operation this morning.

It is is overseen by the Department of Health and was set up to deal with queries relating to the EU travel cert, which is in operation from today.

The number for the helpline is 1800 85 1504, however, Independent.ie called the helpline a number of times this morning and the call was not connected during any of the calls.

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Some Twitter users who got through wrote that they have been waiting for hours to speak to a staff member.

A spokesperson for the Department said that users calling the centre may experience “delays” due to “a very high volume of calls."

“The Digital Covid Certificate Service Centre is currently handling a very high volume of calls and delays may be experienced by members of the public trying to contact the centre.

“We are currently working to increase the capacity of the service centre. The helpline number is 1800 851 504 and is for queries relating to your vaccination certificate and/or requesting your recovery certificate,” the spokesperson said.

An emergency helpline was in operation last week, and on its first day, only one in three phone calls were physically answered by an operator.

Out of 4,000 calls received, around 2,300 people “gave up” on their calls, according to junior minister Ossian Smyth.

Certs are being issued for vaccinated people by email or post.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said that 1.1m email certs have been issued as of this morning and 870,000 hard copies have been sent via post.

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However, passengers who have recovered from the virus in the past six months need to contact the helpline and request a cert.

Passengers who are going abroad can also ring the helpline if they have a query relating to their certs.

While the EU travel cert is not necessary for travel abroad, it helps to speed up processing times at airports.

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