15 November 2020
By Elaine Murphy
Fianna Fáil MEP, Billy Kelleher is calling on the Department of Foreign Affairs to initiate negotiations at EU, and WHO, level on developing a passport Covid Stamp to demonstrate vaccination against the virus.
The Ireland South MEP made the call as it became clear that vulnerable populations would start to receive a vaccine in late 2020 and early 2021.
“Once this happens, we need a standardised system whereby travellers can demonstrate that they have received the vaccine, and are therefore not required to self-isolate or quarantine upon entering different countries.
“At present, the WHO issues the Carte Jaune – Yellow Card to show that vaccinations against certain communicable diseases, such as the Yellow Fever virus, have been administered.
“I think this is the basis of a future system. However, I do think instead of it being a separate document to a passport, it must be part of the actual passport. A standardised, and internationally recognised system is of vital importance.
“Now that there is light at the end of the tunnel, as significant progress is being made on vaccines, we need to make sure that the systems needed to help life return to normal, including overseas travel, are prepared well in advance.
“Ministers Coveney and Byrne should be the ones to start these negotiations at international level. Ireland, as an island nation, is heavily dependent on air and sea travel. Add in our dependence on international tourism and it is abundantly clear that we need to make travelling, when safe, easier,” concluded Kelleher.