Premises will have to comply with COVID certification regulations from today, Department of Health confirms

The Department of Health has said it is making and commencing the regulations for the COVID-19 certification scheme today rather than laying them in draft form only as previously announced.

Monday, 29th November 2021, 12:41 pm

That means compliance will be required from today.

"Department of Health (DoH) can confirm that Covid certification regulations will now be made and commenced today, rather than being laid in draft form only. Premises covered by the regulations will be required to comply from today but there will be a grace period without any enforcement to December 13, 2021," the department stated this afternoon.

The department has said that the grace period will facilitate a bedding-in of the regulations.

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The Covid certification scheme will only be mandatory for licensed premises at this stage - including those venues operating a ‘bring your own’ facility.

In relation to the hospitality sector, COVID-19 certification scheme will only be mandatory for licensed premises at this stage - including those venues operating a ‘bring your own’ facility.

The Department said it will continue to work with the Executive COVID Taskforce (ECT) on ongoing engagement with the key sectors.

"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.

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"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," the Department said.