The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has allocated €15 million to develop a new system that would help to process passports.
The new system is anticipated to replace the existing one and enable the country’s authorities to better maintain the passports’ issuing process, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
According to the Irish Examiner, the contract that is worth over €14.7 million has been awarded to HID Global Ireland Teoranta three years after the request for tender was issued. The tender documents have indicated that the system will be the main on-premise back-office processing system and system-of-record for all passports and other registration applications.
In addition, the same revealed that Ireland wants to create a new system since a large number of applications have accumulated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused delays in the processing time of all documents.
Ireland has accumulated increased numbers of applications this year as the country was going through a lockdown at the beginning of the year, meaning that the passports took longer to be processed.
Even though the system is mainly focused on internal systems that will provide a more resilient passport system, it has been anticipated that it won’t be fully functional for several more years.
Regarding the epidemiologic situation, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has placed Ireland on the dark red list since the country has identified more than 500 COVID-19 infection cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the last couple of weeks.
This means that all persons, especially those who haven’t been vaccinated or recovered from the virus, should refrain from travelling to Ireland as the risk of getting infected is very high.
The data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that only over the last seven days Ireland has registered 30,528 Coronavirus infection cases. During the same period, the country has reported 43 deaths.
As per vaccination rates, ECDC figures show that 76.2 per cent of Ireland’s adult population has been fully immunised against the virus. On the other hand, 77.5 per cent have only received one vaccine dose.
Previously, the Irish authorities announced that all holders of the Irish COVID Passport who have been immunised outside the EU can now apply for the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate.
Nonetheless, it was explained that only those who have been vaccinated with a vaccine that has been approved for use by the Irish health authorities are eligible to apply for the document. The vaccines recognised for travel to Ireland include AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Janssen, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Covishield.