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Covid-19 Pandemic

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Questions (342)

Richard Bruton

Question:

342. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Health if Ireland has made provision for the recognition of Covid digital certificates issued by countries outside the EU for the purpose of entering hospitality or alternatively, if an EU Digital COVID Certificate can be issued to prospective visitors to Ireland. [53800/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

Following the successful rollout of over four million EU Digital COVID Certificates issued in Ireland, the Government has decided to expand the service to Irish Passport holders vaccinated in third countries, as is permitted by the EU Digital COVID Certificate Regulations.

An Irish passport holder vaccinated in Northern Ireland or Great Britain can currently apply for an EU Digital COVID Certificate from Ireland. The service is also continuing to be developed and is due to be expanded in November to allow for applications from Irish passport holders vaccinated in third countries outside of the UK.

Currently, only a ‘permitted person’ can access indoor hospitality premises.

A permitted person is defined in the Health (Amendment) (No.2) Act 2021 as

(a) a person in possession of a proof of immunity relating to that person,

(b) a person under the age of 18 years, or other such age under the age of 18 years as may be prescribed, (in this paragraph referred to as a ‘relevant minor’) who accesses a relevant indoor premises-

(i) accompanied by his or her parent, guardian or a person acting in loco parentis, or

(ii) on such terms (including terms requiring the relevant minor to be accompanied by one or more other persons other than his or her parent or guardian or person acting in loco parentis) as may be prescribed,

(c) a person in or at a relevant indoor premises in a professional capacity, in the course of their employment, or in fulfilment of a contract for services, other than a class or classes of person, that the Minister may prescribe as being persons to whom this paragraph of this definition does not apply, or

(d) a person that stands, or a member of a class of persons that stand, prescribed by the Minister in regulations made under section 31AB(4).

In terms of regulations, SI 385/2021 (as amended) provides that:

“proof of vaccination” means a record or other evidence in written or electronic form in the Irish language or the English language or, where in a language other than Irish or English language, a translation into the Irish or English language, that contains the following information:

A. Confirmation that the person to whom the record or evidence refers is a vaccinated person;

B. The date or dates on which the person was vaccinated;

C. The body in the state concerned –

(i) Implementing the vaccination programme (howsoever described) on behalf of the state that administered or caused to be administered the vaccination to the person concerned, or

(ii) That has been authorised to issue such record or other evidence to the person concerned,

And includes

(I) an EU Digital Covid Certificate issued under Article 3(1)(a) of the Digital Covid Certificate Regulation, and

(II) a HSE Covid-19 Vaccination Record

Having regard to the above, if a non-EU person can provide the proof of vaccination described above, they are considered a permitted person for the purpose of accessing indoor hospitality.

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