An interim vaccine certification process is being updated to enable users to download their vaccine certificates at home. The current process is transitioning to the planned COVID Certification Service and the first phase commenced at the weekend for all new Covid certificate requests.

Anyone travelling from the North between 20 July and 25 July will now be able to access a downloadable certificate and QR code which offers security against fraud. This updated process will make it easier and quicker for people to access their certificate, removing the need to collect.

Whether these certificates get much use will depend on how the pandemic is further managed. There are 2,164 deaths and 2,175,633 vaccinations administered but 18 per cent remain unvaccinated.

There has been one further death and 1,138 new positive cases. In a previous 24 hours the figure was 1402. The number of positive cases in the past seven days is up to 7,354 and that is up from 3,947 in the previous seven days. 

There are 118 cases in hospital here which was up from 92 on Friday. Six patients were in intensive care and three were on a ventilator. The hospital occupancy was 100 per cent and three sites are over capacity.

The rolling seven day average for Covid admissions is 84 but it was 68 a week ago. There are 26 care homes dealing with an outbreak.

Key British Ministers, including Boris Johnson, had to isolate before ‘Freedom Day’. The British Ministers only quarantined after a political backlash. 

The ministers were to have taken daily tests but this was changed after a political storm of adverse comment. Now we have Boris Johnson self-isolating and hordes of maskless youth queuing to get into nightclubs which are no longer socially distanced. Some think that this may be by way of ‘an experiment’.

A total of 2,974,016  tests have been done and 141,460 have had a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. 1,187,005 first vaccinations have been given and 988,658 second vaccination doses.

In the South, fears are rising over a Delta variant surge as the country opens up to foreign travel. Over 3,700 cases have been reported over the last few days and travel abroad might boost these numbers. Non-essential travel is to be permitted and England is opening up with a battle between those who prefer individual responsibility to the responsibility of the state. 

Around 10 per cent  of new Covid-19 cases are related to travel since the end of June as people started to return to Spain and Portugual. The Health Service Executive’s test and trace team say they are seeing an increase in the number of people with a travel history.

50,000 are expected to travel through Dublin Airport in the next week as restrictions ease, with vaccinated passengers able to travel into Ireland without quarantine. The variant is very infectious and can be carried by vaccinated and teenagers.

The Executive will consider the way forward on should be gradual and cautious.