Domestic use verification app launched

Date published: 01 November 2021

The Department of Health is today launching a new domestic use verification app, providing an easy way of checking NI Covid-19 vaccination ‘domestic use’ certificates.

vacc cert update

The existing COVIDCert NI app, developed to support international travel, has now also been updated to allow citizens to display a domestic use certificate in addition to the existing certificate for travel. Citizens are encouraged to download the app, and ensure that they have the necessary certificates downloaded, should they wish to present them.

The new Verification app – ‘COVIDCert Check NI’ app known as “Cert Check NI” - will facilitate voluntary use of vaccine certification in hospitality and entertainment settings.

It will be more user-friendly and reliable than using the printed vaccination cards to prove you have had both jabs.

The COVIDCert NI app update, with a new domestic use certificate, will allow validation of vaccination status (using the Cert Check NI app) without the need to show ID, and without revealing any personal information (not even your name or date of birth). 

Decisions on whether domestic certification would be introduced on a compulsory basis in Northern Ireland settings will rest with the NI Executive.  The Executive’s recently published Covid-19 autumn/winter contingency plan sets out a number of potential contingency measures which the Executive may decide to use including “the potential to deploy COVID status certification in higher risk settings if considered appropriate and necessary”.

The Cert Check NI app is free to download and can be used on a smartphone or tablet device. 

When a citizen uses the updated COVIDCert NI app, they will have the option to activate their domestic certificate. The process includes taking a ‘selfie’ photograph using your phone.  This selfie is locked into the app, and remains on the app user’s phone. It is not shared with or collected by anyone else. 

The purpose of displaying a picture in the app user’s phone version of the domestic certificate is to prevent other people using the certificate inappropriately. It also avoids the need for a separate photo ID to be presented along with a certificate. This will speed up the verification process, helping avoid unnecessary delays.

Further information and download details are available on the Health and Social Care NI website, the Apple store and on Google Play.

Notes to editors: 

1.       The COVID Certification Service commenced 2nd July, after a number of countries introduced proof of vaccination as a condition of entry.

·       since the service was launched 228,564 certificates have been issued.

·       a covid vaccine certification app (COVIDCert NI) supporting foreign travel was introduced later in July.

·       the NI COVID Certification Service is now linked to the EU Gateway, via the newly launched UK public key infrastructure (launched today). This will now automate the updating of 2D barcodes when travelling across the EU, ensuring that the EU scanning solutions will always recognise codes on NI certificates.

2. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office by email

3. Follow us on Twitter @healthdpt

4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service For Media Enquiries Only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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