A Fine Gael politician in the Republic of Ireland has called for an Irish Digital Certificate scheme for Covid-19 to be applied across the island.
Neale Richmond raised the issue of the Digital Covid Certificate (DCC), which is due to come into effect in the Republic on Monday, as part of a EU-wide scheme which will allow un-restricted international travel for those who are fully vaccinated.
In the meantime, fully vaccinated people in the Republic are being sent email and post documents with QR codes as proof of their vaccination status.
The documents can also be used for indoor hospitality when it reopens later this month in the Republic.
While the Taoiseach Micheal Martin said Irish passport holders in Northern Ireland will be able to access the DCC, there is yet no information on how those people can access the certificate, with an Irish official saying those living north of the border would be considered “once the initial rollout is in place”.
Mr Richmond said Irish citizens in Northern Ireland risked being “left behind”.
“This government and the previous government have rightly said many times that the Irish citizens of the north won’t be left behind, but unfortunately Taoiseach, when it comes to the full access to the Digital Covid Cert that is exactly what is happening,” he said in the Dail on Wednesday.
“The suggestion by a minister previously that Irish citizens in the north, or people living in the south who are vaccinated in the north, or indeed Irish citizens living in Great Britain, will not have full access to the Digital Covid Cert until phase two, simply isn't acceptable.”
“It, as my colleague in the Seanad Emer Curry says, does not allow for full parity. Can I ask the Taoiseach this afternoon when and what efforts will be made to expedite that to ensure all Irish citizens will have access to this vitally important Digital Covid Cert?”
Mr Martin said: “There is no issue with fully vaccinated citizens in the North in terms of the validity of the certificates they already have. There is no issue there.”