DoH must redouble efforts to resolve Covid certification problems

DUP South Antrim MLA and Vice-Chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee Pam Cameron has urged the Department of Health to redouble efforts to find a lasting solution to disruption facing travellers as a result of problems with Northern Ireland’s COVID Certification Service.

By Pam Cameron MLA

South Antrim

View Profile

Commenting, Mrs Cameron:

‘‘These certificates were intended to unlock the door to travel abroad for those who have abided by the public health advice and are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Instead, the scheme has been beset by delay and disruption, leaving travellers in a logjam of applications.

This situation needs to be urgently addressed. Although the online system is expected to resume shortly, only those travelling up to 1 August are being encouraged to apply and there is a real and pressing need for the Department of Health to invest the necessary resources and manpower to get the system operable for everyone and in a sustainable way.

It remains unclear why the certification scheme was linked to registration on the Nidirect website when it was unlikely to be able to handle the level of demand. The Department needs to be upfront about the scale of the problem. It is unacceptable that applicants have said their calls and emails have gone unanswered for days. There are also clear concerns around the capacity of verification software to recognise passports. Where appropriate the Department should utilise expertise from across the UK and in other jurisdictions to address these faults in the system and ensure the local scheme is fit for purpose.

We need to see a lasting, practical solution that gives certainty and confidence to travellers. It is wrong that those who have acted in good faith in receiving both doses of the vaccine now find themselves at a loss in seeking to honour holiday or business plans. This must be rectified without delay and in a way that meets the expectations of applicants.’’

Become a Supporter

  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }
  • ${ error }

We’ll email you about campaigns, events and opportunities to get involved.
Find out more about how we use your information.