Ireland must be ready to implement the EU’s ‘Covid-19 Certificate’ for cross border travel within the EU, so as not to be left behind the rest of Europe as safe international travel reopens in coming months, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Speaking following the overwhelming approval of the proposed travel certificate by MEPs, Senator Regina Doherty said, “This temporary travel certificate provides a lifeline to our struggling aviation industry and gives hope to the 150,000 people directly employed by the industry here.
“With the EU moving full steam ahead, all relevant bodies here, especially the Departments of Health, Justice, Foreign Affairs and Transport must immediately provide reassurance that they will be ready to implement both the paper and digital systems as soon as they are developed and launched by the European Union,” she said.
The European Parliament proposed a name change from ‘Digital Green Cert’ to the ‘Covid-19 Certificate’ which is deemed to be more accurate as the Cert will be available in both digital and paper formats, meaning it is not digital by default. All European Union citizens will have the option to apply for the free certificate, in digital or physical form once the regulation is implemented.
“The aviation industry needs an urgent update on the status of the work being done on our implementation process and IT infrastructure,” Senator Doherty said.
“There is still work left to do at a European level to finalise the logistics of how it will work, and further engagement with member states needed, but as soon as this is complete, the expectation is that the system could be ready to go as early as June.
“The strong vote in the European Parliament shows that the EU 27 are fully behind this. As one of only three EU members without a land border with another, it is imperative we begin extra preparations now to ensure our airports and ports are ready to reopen for business this summer.
“This is a hugely positive measure, and while disinformation around the topic is rife, the facts remain that this is a temporary process to return the right of safe freedom of movement to EU citizens when it comes to international travel.
“The Aviation Restart Plan 2021, compiled by industry leaders on the National Civil Aviation Development Forum and published this month, provides the roadmap for the safe return to international travel for this country.
“The Government must now provide the assurance that there will be no delays here when it comes to the EU wide system, we cannot cut ourselves off from our most important international partners,” concluded Senator Doherty.