A group of Irish citizens who arrived in Malta for their holidays have been forced to enter Mandatory Hotel Quarantine after their HSE-issued vaccine certs were rejected.

Many Irish travellers who were fully vaccinated had not yet received their digital covid certificates in the post. However, Junior Green Party Minister Ossian Smyth, who is responsible for overseeing the rollout of travel certs, told travellers that they wouldn’t need a digital covid cert to enter another country, as long as they could prove their vaccination status.

He tweeted: “It is important to remember that the DCC is not essential for travelling – you can still travel on your vaccine card or a negative PCR test.”

Notably, Ossian Smyth is currently on holidays himself.

HSE-issued handwritten cards asserting that individuals had been vaccinated were sent out in place of the DCC as a temporary measure.

However, once Irish holidaymakers arrived in Malta on a Ryanair flight, they were told that these cards would not be accepted by Maltese authorities and they would have to enter mandatory hotel quarantine.

An estimated 25 individuals are affected by this, and the Department of Foregin Affairs have said they are aware of this situation.

A spokesperson for Minister Smyth issued a statement on the issue today, stating:

“The Minister is concerned to hear about the experience of some Irish people in Malta and will do everything he can to ensure new certs are sent to the individuals involved. Minister Smyth, as he has done before, would also urge people to check the Reopen EU website for the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to before departing.”