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Despite being told that citizens in the north with Irish Passports wouldn't be left behind just a few years ago, it seems that that sentiment has faltered at the first real test, with the announcement today in The Journal.ie that Irish Passport holders here won't be able to use the EU Digital Covid Certificate to enable them to travel to EU countries or even dine inside south of the border.

Image Courtesy EU Website

In a speech in 2017 by Taoiseach at the time, Leo Varadkar TD, Mr Varadkar said "Your birth right as Irish citizens, and therefore as EU citizens, will be protected.  There will be no hard border on our island. You will never again be left behind by an Irish Government.

"These rights will, of course, be available to everyone in Northern Ireland who chooses to exercise his or her right to be an Irish citizen, regardless of their political persuasion or religious beliefs."

The EU Digital Covid Certificate can be used in several ways. It proves you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or that you are recovered from COVID-19 in the last 6 months.

It opens up a potentially confusing scenario with NI residents arriving at EU destinations with an Irish Passport and a British issued Covid Certificate. How local passport control will work with that is anyones guess.

The fact that it can be downloaded and used by non EU countiries including Norway, Switzerland and Iceland make it even more incredible.

Because the Republic are also using the EU Vaccine Certificate to enable entry to indoors in Restaurants and Bars, it also makes the scenario of Newry residents, literally being 'left out in the cold' when visiting Omeath, Dundalk or Carlingford for a pint or a bite to eat.

 

 

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