Today, Irish authorities will begin circulating around two million Covid certificates for the return of safe international travel.
Those who have already been vaccinated will receive a unique QR code that allows airport authorities in participating countries to determine whether or not you are protected against Covid-19.
After receiving it by post or email, you can save your code on your phone or use the physical document as proof, however, it has been confirmed that the document is not a prerequisite for traveling outside of Ireland.
Under the EU system, there are actually four different Covid certificates that can be obtained and used for travel.
1. Certificate based on vaccination
The first is the main pass circulating from this week.
You can only get this certificate if you have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
If the HSE has a valid email address for you from the vaccination process, you will receive your Covid digital certificate by email.
It will be in PDF format when you receive it, so you can choose to download it to your phone or print it, provided the QR code can be inspected or scanned.
If you received your dose from your GP, you will probably receive your certificate in the mail.
2. Certificate based on recovery
A recovery certificate will be made available to any unvaccinated passenger from 11 days after a positive test.
Unlike the vaccination certificate, this will only be valid for 180 days.
If you want to request your recovery certificate, you can do so through a hotline – details of which will be confirmed later today.
3. Certificate based on negative RT-PCR test
If you have not been vaccinated, or have had Covid-19, you can still travel based on a negative PCR test.
Once you have obtained the RT-PCR test privately, a digital COVID certificate will be provided by the particular testing service you are using.
4. Certificate based on negative antigen test
You can also get an antigen test privately in Ireland and a unique QR code will be provided by the testing service – it can be used for entry into a number of European countries at the moment.
However, passengers should be aware that an antigen test will not be accepted for entry into Ireland, so you should arrange a PCR test from your country of departure up to 72 hours before your flight.