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COVIDCert NI – FAQs

Demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination status

How do I get a COVID Certificate?

The Department of Health has introduced an automated method for NI citizens who have received both their covid vaccinations in NI to apply for COVID Certificate.

You can access a vaccine certificate via the COVIDCert NI APP.

You can apply for the certificate here:

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/coronavirus-covid-19-interim-proof-vaccination-document

For those who cannot apply online, requests for a paper certificate can also be made using the telephone service available from Tuesday 20th July  0300 200 7814  Mon- Fri 8am to 8pm.

This process will take longer than the digital process and you will be required to verify your identity in person by presenting documentation at an appointed time and location at one of the available DAERA (Department of  Agriculture , Environment & Rural  Affairs) sites across NI. Once identity checks have been completed in may take up to 10 working days for the printed certificate to arrive.

App Troubleshooting

If you are experiencing issues related to the COVIDCert NI app, please try the following steps. Note: these steps will not affect the progress of your vaccine certificate application.

1. Update to the latest version of the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.hscni.covidcertni

https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/covidcert-ni/id1576492321

2. Log out of the app

    a) Go to the “Account” tab in the app

    b) Press the “Log out of nidirect account” button

    c) Press the “Yes, I want to log out” button

3. Log in to the app again

If you are still experiencing issues:

1. Uninstall the app

https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/2521768?hl=en-GB&ref_topic=1046717

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT207618

2. Reinstall the app

COVIDCert NI App Error

If you receive the below error on the COVIDCert NI app, please update your app to be able to view your COVID Certificate QR codes. You can also download your COVID Certificate at https://covidcertni.nidirect.gov.uk/

SSL Certificate Validation
SSL Certificate public key validation failed for API endpoint. All connections to the endpoint have been blocked.
Please try connecting to a different network that is trusted and secure.

Thank you for your understanding.

Why do I need a COVID Certificate?

You may need a COVID Certificate to prove that you have received both of your vaccination in order to travel internationally.

Policies may change in the future, allowing travel with a certificate to certain countries without the need for testing. 

Entry requirements vary across different countries. You may be able to enter some countries having provided a range of test results. You should check the entry and return requirement at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ or  https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice.

Can anyone get a COVID Certificate?

If you’re travelling abroad within the next three months, you can now register for a COVID certificate.

The NI COVID certificate is only valid for three months from the date of application.

Only NI residents who have had both vaccines in NI can receive this certificate at this time.

What information is on the COVID Certificate?

The certificate provides some personal information; name, age, date of birth etc.

It also provides details of when you were vaccinated, which vaccine was used and the batch number of the vaccine used.

Do I need a COVID Certificate to attend venue, or sports and music events?

This certificate has been provided to support international travel.

Will I need a COVID Certificate for trips to England, Scotland, Wales or the Republic of Ireland?

You will NOT require the certificate for travel within the common travel area. You may require the certificate to access some services in areas within the Common Travel Area.

Please check regulations in each jurisdiction before you plan your trip as requirements are subject to change at short notice. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice

I still have my vaccine card, can I use that to travel?

No, your vaccine card does not provide the level of detail required to support international travel regulations at this time. Only certificates that meet international standards and are of the type agreed in the UK (with necessary security features to prevent fraud) will be accepted.

Do children need a COVID Certificate to travel?

As children have not yet been vaccinated they will not require a certificate. They may require tests depending on the country you plan to visit. Please check the regulations for your destination and regulations for returning to NI as these are subject to change at short notice.

If I don’t have a COVID Certificate can I still go abroad?

Entry requirements for vary across different countries. You may be able to enter some countries having provided a range of test results You should check the entry and return requirement at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ or  https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice

Can I use the NHS app to access my COVID Certificate?

No, your health care record is not shared with other UK nations. The NHS app links to GP systems in England and Wales, not NI.

Will I need a COVID Certificate to get into a venue in the Republic of Ireland?

Gov officials are in contact with relevant authorities in the Republic of Ireland about this issue. Further details will be made public as soon as any decision is taken.

Why is the country I am travelling to not on the list?

It is important the public check the Foreign Office Travel advice website and determine what is necessary for entry to that country by UK citizens.

Please check regulations in each jurisdiction before you plan your trip as requirements are subject to change at short notice. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice

That includes finding out whether PCR tests are required or if a period of self-isolation is necessary on arrival on return to NI.

When should I apply for my COVID Certificate?

Please do not make travel arrangements without ensuring you have a valid certificate.

When will I get my COVID Certificate?

If you apply for a paper copy of your certificate it may take 10 days to arrive at your address once you have completed all steps of your application including verifying your identity in person.

Why am I being asked to get a PCR test when I could have got a COVID Certificate?

The restrictions imposed by countries regularly changes, however for many if not most countries a negative PCR test is considered an appropriate means to demonstrate the traveller is covid clear.  It is important to bear in mind that on return home it is essential a PCR test is undertaken in the country being visited before the flight home and there is a covid testing and isolation regime when at home.

I am going on holiday tomorrow. Can I still apply for a COVID Certificate?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to process a request for a paper certificate in that timeframe.

Can I apply for a COVID Certificate for my spouse/partner/family member?

You must register an account on NIDirect for each traveller.  If you apply under your own account, the certificate will be in your name.

If I have a COVID Certificate do I still need to isolate on my return to Northern Ireland?

If you travel to an amber destination you will need to undertake a covid testing regime on return home, 

If you travel to a red country you will have to follow the rules around managed isolation in a quarantine hotel.

Further details are available on NIDirect – Travel advice and guidance | nidirect(external link opens in a new window / tab)

I have paid for PCR tests, can these costs be reimbursed?

PCR tests for travel purposes are taken at a cost to individuals.

Should I get my own PCR test and result before travelling?

Yes.  Travellers are encouraged to equip themselves with a negative PCR result before travelling, whether they have a vaccination certificate or not.

Can I have an update on the status of my application? Why is there a matching issue with my application?

Please provide the 12-digit reference number you would have received from covid19.certification.service@notifications.service.gov.uk as well as a photo of your blue vaccination card.

I have passed identity verification, what do I do next?

Once your identity has been verified you need to go on to the Covid Cert NI app and log in using your NI Direct details. You can then apply for a certificate and you will get an automatic email with the 12-digit reference number from covid19.certification.service@notifications.service.gov. If you are still having difficulties, please provide this reference number along with a photo of your blue vaccination card and we will try to assist you.

What should I do if I’ve lost my blue vaccination card?

Please contact your local GP who should be able to assist with this.

Why does my certificate show a 3-month expiry date?

There are processes being put in place to automatically refresh the certificates however, there must be a 3-month expiry for security reasons.

How do I get a COVID Certificate? App Troubleshooting COVIDCert NI App Error Why do I need a COVID Certificate? Can anyone get a COVID Certificate? What information is on the COVID Certificate? Do I need a COVID Certificate to attend venue, or sports and music events? Will I need a COVID Certificate for trips to England, Scotland, Wales or the Republic of Ireland? I still have my vaccine card, can I use that to travel? Do children need a COVID Certificate to travel? If I don’t have a COVID Certificate can I still go abroad? Can I use the NHS app to access my COVID Certificate? Will I need a COVID Certificate to get into a venue in the Republic of Ireland? Why is the country I am travelling to not on the list? When should I apply for my COVID Certificate? When will I get my COVID Certificate? Why am I being asked to get a PCR test when I could have got a COVID Certificate? I am going on holiday tomorrow. Can I still apply for a COVID Certificate? Can I apply for a COVID Certificate for my spouse/partner/family member? If I have a COVID Certificate do I still need to isolate on my return to Northern Ireland? I have paid for PCR tests, can these costs be reimbursed? Should I get my own PCR test and result before travelling? Is the COVID Certificate a legal document? Where can I read the legal documents for the COVIDCert NI mobile app? Can I have an update on the status of my application? Why is there a matching issue with my application? I have passed identity verification, what do I do next? What should I do if I’m locked out of my account? What should I do if I’ve lost my blue vaccination card? Who do I contact if I am having issues with my identity verification? Why does my certificate show a 3-month expiry date?