Travel is back with digital covid certificate

By Godfrey Lydon

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From Monday 19th July 2021, the EU Digital Covid Certificate goes live in Ireland and new advice and rules for international travel come into effect. This certificate is free and will help people to travel safely and more easily within the European Union.

What is the Digital covid Certificate?

The EU Digital Covid Certificate (DCC) is proof that a person has either:
  • Been fully vaccinated against Covid-19
  • Recovered from Covid-19 in the last 6 months
  • Received a negative Covid-19 test result.
It will be issued in digital or paper format.

How do i get it?

  • If you have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and the HSE has a valid email address for you, you will get your Digital Covid Certificate by email. Otherwise you will receive it by post.
  • A certificate of recovery will be available from 11 days after a positive test. This will be valid for 180 days after you test positive. To request a DCC this way, an emergency helpline is being set up and should be operational from 19th July on 1800 851 504. Please allow 5 working days to receive the DCC.
  • To obtain a DCC based on a negative test, you need to undertake an RT-PCR test at a private testing centre. The testing centre will issue the DCC to you.
If you have been fully vaccinated and have not received your DCC or if the details on your DCC are incorrect, you can ring the emergency helpline above.

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How do i get it with a test?

You can get a Digital Covid Certificate if you have a clear PCR test from an authorised operator. The test must be done no more than 72 hours before departure. The authorised operator must comply with a set of standards laid down by the Department of Health and they will issue the Digital Covid Certificate once the test result is negative.

You will also be required to present a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arriving back in the country.

Please note travel advice is subject to change at short notice and entry requirements may vary from country to country. For example, for those visiting Malta with a DCC obtained via recovery or negative PCR test, there is a requirement to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days. To check the entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to click here 

How Do i use it?

The Digital Covid Certificate contains a QR code like a barcode which will be scanned at the airport and compared to the person’s identification, such as a passport.


You should not travel to another EU country until at least 14 days after you have been fully vaccinated, even if you receive the Digital Covid Certificate within 2 weeks of being fully vaccinated.


No, the HSE Vaccine Card may not be considered valid proof of your vaccine status in many countries. The Digital Covid Certificate is the only officially recognised certificate across the EU so we advise not to travel within the EU without this cert.

Where can i store it?

You can store the Digital Covid Certificate on your Covid Tracker app. The Covid Tracker app now has a new button called ‘Register EU Digital Covid Certificate’ and this lets you take a photo of the QR code on your certificate which then displays your name, date of birth, vaccination status, certificate ID and other details.

Please note if you received the DCC by email and want to store it on the app, you will need to either print out the certificate and photograph the QR code or photograph the certificate from another phone.


The name on your Digital Covid Certificate should match the name on your passport. If it does not match, you may incur a change fee with airlines when attempting to book your holiday.

Some people with Irish names containing a ‘fada’ have also reported corrupted spellings of their names on the DCC.

To fix issues such as these, please contact the emergency helpline on 1800 851 504 or 1800 807 008.

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What information will it contain?

The certificate will contain only essential information, including:

  • Your name
  • Your DOB
  • The date of issue
  • The vaccine manufacturer
  • The issuing authority
  • A unique identifier number

What if i'm travelling with children?

Children under 12 will not be required to show a negative PCR test but those aged 12 to 17 will be required to do so. Children of any age will not be required to quarantine upon arrival if accompanied by an adult who has been vaccinated or has proof of Covid-19 recovery.

Please note travel advice is subject to change at short notice and some countries may have different entry rules for children. To check the entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to, click here 

The Future’s Looking so much brighter!

While great progress has been made, we can’t afford to drop our guard at this stage. There are still large sections of the population unvaccinated and many challenges ahead. However, the launch of the Digital Covid Certificate is a great milestone on the road back to our previous lives and there is now real optimism that we are finally seeing an end in sight to the pandemic in Europe and elsewhere.

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