It’s been a bumpy road for the Irish rollout of the EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC). The government has issued over two million of them in less than two weeks, but there have been reports of mistaken names or information as well as long delays for those looking to access the helplines – if they can get through at all.
The situation is constantly changing, but as of today (27 July) here’s what you need to know.
Getting My EU DCC
Those who have been fully vaccinated will receive theirs by email or by post. So far, the government has sent out 2.1 million certificates.
If you haven’t got one yet – or have received it and the information on it (name, date of birth) is incorrect – you will have to contact one of the two freephone helpline numbers: 1800 851 504 or 1800 807 008.
However, there is an average wait time of 90 minutes before you will get through – if you do at all.
Last week, a report said that only 8 per cent of all calls were being connected to an operator. Authorities are working to resolve these issues.
I had Covid, but Haven’t been Vaccinated. How Do I get my DCC?
An online Recovery Certificate portal has been launched to allow members of the public request a certificate of recovery. Instead of calling the EU Digital COVID Certificate helpline, you can now fill out an online form to request a certificate of recovery.
You can request the Recovery Certificate if you have had a positive RT-PCR test more than 11 days ago and less than 6 months (180 days) ago. This certificate proves that you’ve had COVID-19 in the last 6 months (180 days) and is considered another form of the EU Digital COVID Certificate.
Will my HSE Vaccination Card be Enough?
Although unofficial guidance is that some discretion is being shown during the DCC’s introductory period, nothing has been confirmed.
Last week, a group of Irish visitors were forced into mandatory quarantine in Malta because they only had their HSE Vaccination cards, but the Maltese authorities have been among the strictest in Europe with their entry requirements.
Malta has since confirmed that only fully vaccinated people will be allowed travel to Malta. Malta is not accepting recovery certificates or negative COVID PCR or antigen test results under the EU DCC process.
Children under 12 years travelling to Malta with a negative PCR test will be accepted provided they are travelling with fully vaccinated parents who have an official EU Digital COVID Cert.
What are the rules for Children?
Each member state has its own set of requirements when it comes to testing and age exemption for children not in possession of a DCC. Most EU States exempt children under 12 years from tests (for France it is under 11 years).
Those rules are outlined at the Re-open EU (europa.eu) site.
Assuming that children between the ages of 12 and 15 do NOT have an EU Digital Covid Cert, they must have a negative RT-PCR test in order to return to Ireland.
Children aged 11 and under do not need to take a RT-PCR test prior to returning to Ireland. Children aged 16 and over can register for a vaccine on HSE.ie.
I have been vaccinated in Northern Ireland. Can I get a DCC?
The DCC is only available to those who’ve been vaccinated in an EU country.
If you’ve been vaccinated in Northern Ireland, you will be given the COVIDCertNI which is the province’s version of the UK-wide NHS Covid certificate – which is accepted throughout the EU like the DCC.
What about travel to and from the UK?
From 19 July, fully vaccinated people arriving into Ireland from the UK do not need a COVID test before travelling to Ireland.
The requirement to restrict movement on arrival in Ireland has also been removed for fully vaccinated people.
Proof of being fully vaccinated is required. There are no restrictions on travel to the UK from Ireland.