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Positive assurances given by Taoiseach over support for all-Ireland Covid-19 vaccine certificate

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Michelle O’Neill Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Michelle O’Neill Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Michelle O’Neill Photo: Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said she has received “positive assurances” Covid-19 vaccine certificates will be able to apply across the entire island of Ireland.

The new EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) was introduced in the Republic on Monday as part of an EU-wide scheme that will allow for unrestricted international travel among those who are fully vaccinated.

The documents can also be used for indoor hospitality when it reopens later this month in the jurisdiction.

But most Irish passport holders in Northern Ireland will not be able to access the certificate at first because they were vaccinated outside of the Republic.

Ms O’Neill said she discussed the matter during a virtual meeting with the Taoiseach Michael Martin on Wednesday and confirmed she received “assurances” the issue would be resolved on an island-wide basis in the coming weeks.

“The Irish Government has a responsibility to ensure that arrangements are put in place to recognise the vaccination certificates of all citizens on this island; there can be no barriers for citizens from the north.

“I am glad to have received positive assurances from An Taoiseach that a solution will be found in advance of indoor hospitality reopening on the 26th of July, which requires proof of vaccination to access.

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“Many families across the island are choosing to stay at home this year and holiday in Ireland, I want to ensure that those from the north who are holidaying in the south can also enjoy a meal or drink indoors.

"We are a small island with a small population and it is essential that information from our vaccination programmes is shared between the health authorities north and south.

"Throughout the pandemic, our island and health systems have worked best when all-Ireland cooperation has flourished. It is now crucial that a speedy resolution is delivered on this issue."

Last week in the Dail, when questioned on the issue 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.”

Recently, the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said the issue would be “kept under consideration”.


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