People who have been vaccinated in the North must have access to EU travel once the EU Covid Certificate comes into effect, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Chair of the Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, Deputy Fergus O’Dowd, submitted a Parliamentary Question on the matter to Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney this week.
Deputy O’Dowd said, “When the EU Covid Certificate comes into effect, it will be a matter for individual member States to determine how it will be used as part of their national public health measures. It is important that we have clarity given the two jurisdictions on this island.
“I support the calls for the EU Covid Certificate to apply to residents of Northern Ireland but another issue that has been brought to my attention is the number of people who are resident south of the border but who may have been vaccinated in the North, if for example they work there or attend health services there. They must have access to the EU Covid Certificate.
“When I raised the matter with Minister Coveney in the Dáil this week, he confirmed to me that the regulation gives the option to issue vaccination certificates to persons vaccinated elsewhere, provided they are EMA approved vaccines, upon receipt of the appropriate proof. I believe this must be applied to those who have been vaccinated in Northern Ireland.
“I understand the focus is currently on delivering the obligations of the EU Regulation with respect of persons who received a vaccination or a test in Ireland and that the timeframe for this is very challenging given the new operational processes required, and the challenges presented by the cyber-attack on the HSE.
“However, I do not want to see anyone living in border counties who may have been vaccinated in the North excluded from this initiative, Deputy O’Dowd concluded.