From July 19, Ireland will fall in line with the majority of EU states and begin operating the certificate, which will allow people to travel within the EU and EEA (the EU, plus Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein).
The cert will allow anyone who has been fully vaccinated, has proof of a negative PCR test, or has recovered from the virus in the last six months to travel for non-essential reasons within the EU.
Those who have recovered from a recent Covid-19 infection will not automatically receive a cert. They will have to contact a call centre to request one.
The Department of Health has set up a call centre that will assist people who are having difficulty or have questions about their Covid Cert.
Those who receive negative Covid tests will receive their certs from the testing facility.
The certificate will either be issued by email or a piece of paper sent by post, depending on where the receiver got vaccinated.
Those who received their vaccine in a mass vaccination centre will receive their certificate by email and those who got it from their GP, from the pharmacy or in a hospital will receive it by post.
The certificate will come as a single-page document that can be folded into a passport-sized booklet and it will have a QR code on it, which will be scanned in airports and ports.
The cert will include details of the persons vaccination status, test result or recent recovery from Covid-19. In the case of vaccinated people, the cert will include full details of which vaccine they received, how many doses they received, and on what date(s).
Personal information will include the receiver’s full name, date of birth, and a unique certificate identifier code.
According to Minister of State Ossian Smyth, the majority of certificates will be issued before July 19.
However, Irish citizens will still be allowed to travel for non-essential reasons from this date even if they don’t have the certificate.
Minister Smyth said the certificate will speed up the process in the airport, but those without one will still be able to travel if they have proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.
"If for any reason you don't have a certificate, you can still travel on your existing documentation,” he said.
"If you can show evidence that you've been vaccinated, or that you've been tested, you can still travel.
“So it's not a prerequisite for travel, you don't have to have a Digital Covid Cert to travel, but it does make it faster.”
The certificate was originally produced for international travel, but individual EU countries may decide to use it for other purposes – such as the “vaccine pass” set to be phased in here in Ireland for indoor hospitality.
Government will sign off today on plans to allow people who have a Digital Covid Certificate to avail of indoor dining and drinking in restaurants and pubs.
It is expected that hospitality
staff will have access to an app that will scan the QR code on the cert before customers are allowed to enter.