Sat, 22 Jan 2022

Update on Covid certification scheme

Northern Ireland Executive
26 Nov 2021, 22 GMT+10

The Department of Health can confirm that regulations for the Covid certification scheme will be laid on Monday November 29.

The regulations will be laid in draft form on Monday, but will require Assembly approval to become operational.

This also reflects the Executive's decision that there should be a grace period before the scheme took full effect, with no enforcement until December 13. The grace period on the scheme will facilitate a bedding-in of the regulations.

In relation to the hospitality sector, Covid certification scheme will only be mandatory for licensed premises at this stage - including those venues operating a 'bring your own' facility.

This phased approach follows feedback during engagement with the retail, hospitality, tourism and events sectors.

The Department will continue to work with Executive Covid Taskforce (ECT) colleagues on ongoing engagement with the key sectors.

Meetings with sector representatives hosted by ECT are ongoing. There have been eight engagement meetings this week, the most recent of which were held this afternoon.

It should be noted that the Covid certification scheme, as agreed by the Executive, is not a vaccine passport scheme. It requires proof of either full vaccination status; or a negative Lateral Flow test result in the previous 48 hours; or proof of recovery from a positive PCR test in the previous 30-180 days.

Covid certification can reduce the number of infected people in high risk settings. Vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and ill than unvaccinated people. There is also evidence, from several studies worldwide, that even when people get infected, if they are vaccinated they are less likely to transmit it to others.

The biggest threat to customer confidence and the economy this winter would be an escalating surge in Covid infections. Vaccination and improved adherence to public health measures can help push down infections. So can Covid certification.

We would encourage everyone to apply for digital Covid certificates on NI Direct:


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