Temporary scheme will be available for foreign travel up to July 19 says health department
Further details of the interim arrangements to provide holiday makers from Northern Ireland with short-term written confirmation have been released by Department of Health.
The department said on Friday this temporary scheme will be available for foreign travel up to and including July 19 for people visiting countries requiring proof of double dose Covid-19 vaccination.
Officials said the measure has been introduced to assist holidaymakers travelling before a full certification system goes live later this month.
The full system will provide certification to an agreed UK wide format and will be fully operational when the interim arrangements expire.
Further details of the full scheme will be published in the coming days.
Details of how to apply for the interim scheme are available here: www.nidirect.gov.uk/interim-proof-vaccination-document
"The process of providing the interim documentation may take up to five days – applicants should bear this in mind when planning their holidays,” said the department.
“The application process for the interim documentation will include cross-checking with details given when vaccine appointments were booked. We will seek to prioritise according to date of travel. Dates will be verified before issue so please make sure your application details are accurate.”
They added: “People should not apply for this interim scheme if they don’t need it – e.g. if their holiday is for a later date or if they are travelling to countries that do not require proof of vaccination.
“Unnecessary applications could slow the process up for people who actually need the documentation.”
Health Minister Robin Swann said: “I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard in developing this interim scheme at speed. It was required after unilateral action by some countries on entry requirements. I now look forward to the full vaccine certification system going live later this month.”
The full, internationally recognised vaccine certification system is currently being finalised and being subjected to cyber security checks.
The short term interim arrangements have been introduced, after some countries decided to require vaccination proof ahead of the EU’s vaccine passport scheme becoming fully functional.
Those travelling should check latest UK Government travel advice which will give updated information on travel to individual countries, including any Covid-related entry requirements.
Be aware that fraudulent messages are being circulated, purporting to offering vaccine certification for a fee. This is a scam. The official vaccine certification schemes – interim and full – are free.
How will I get this interim documentation?
Individuals requiring confirmation of double dose vaccination for foreign travel up to and including July 19 should apply online - details are available here: www.nidirect.gov.uk/interim-proof-vaccination-document
Your application will be processed and, if eligible, you will be provided with an appointment to collect your documentation, after verifying your ID and providing proof of holiday dates.
The three verification/collection points are:
• Foyle Arena 2, Limavady Rd, Londonderry
• South Lake Leisure Centre, 1 Lake Rd, Craigavon
• SSE Arena, 2 Queens Quay, Belfast
Before receiving the printed documentation, you will be asked to present your passport, proof of address and proof of your travel booking. The application process for the interim documentation will include cross-checking with details given when vaccine appointments were booked.
People should not apply for this scheme if they don’t need it – e.g. if their holiday is for a later date or if they are travelling to countries that do not require proof of vaccination.
What will be the official vaccine certification scheme involve?
The official vaccine certificates will in the first instance be in specialised hard copy format. They will feature security and counterfeit protection features and will be produced through a specialised printing process. A digital alternative to the hardcopy format will be available by early/mid-August.
Why should I wait for the full official vaccine certification scheme?
The short-term interim arrangements are only for people travelling to foreign countries who require proof of double dose vaccination up to and July 19, 2021.They will be replaced by the full scheme.
What will these documents cost?
The interim and full vaccine certification schemes are free to all NI residents.
We are aware of fake messages being sent out, purporting to be from the NHS or NHS Digital, seemingly offering fast track Covid Travel Certificates. This is a scam.
These scam messages have the sole aim of extorting money from you or to attracting you to a link where you may be asked for further information – do not respond to them.