Vaccine certificate woes for aspiring NI actor who misses out on Norway role

An aspiring actor living in NI has warned those with a vaccine certificate not to pin their hopes on the document after being denied his big break in a Norwegian production.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 8:00 am
Tim O'Sullivan missed out on a role in Norway as they would not accept his vaccine certificate to allow him to enter the country for filming
Tim O'Sullivan missed out on a role in Norway as they would not accept his vaccine certificate to allow him to enter the country for filming

Tim O’Sullivan has been living in Londonderry for 30 years having moved here from Kerry in the Republic of Ireland.

His distinctive look has seen him gain a lot of work as an extra in the film industry. More recently he achieved his dream when he was cast as the lead in a Norwegian production set to begin filming in Wexford and Norway

Knowing he’d need clearance to travel, Tim, an Irish passport holder, got his Covid certificate having had both his jabs. Then came the bad news.

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“To say I was excited about my first lead role was an understatement,” said Tim, 43.

“My dreams were ripped from me when I found out the Norwegian government will not accept the new Northern Ireland Covid certificate that the Executive is rolling out.”

Tim said he spend the next few days contacting ministers, TDs and MLAs in NI and the Irish Republic trying to get clarification and access to the EU digital covid certificate.

Tim said: “Every door has been closed to me. I am devastated. I had to inform the production company and they have now recast the roll.”

He said: “I think before everyone rushes to book holidays thinking this certificate is all they need, they need to find out which countries actually accept it. I also think the Executive should have made sure it would be accepted before telling people this is the proof they need.”

The Department of Health said the travel arrangements were being updated as agreements are put in place.

A spokesperson said: “The UK government is actively engaging other states on a bilateral basis, and multilaterally through organisations including the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the World Health Organisation to support work on vaccine certification.

“We have shared details of our certificate and apps with FCDO (The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office), including our public keys for the QR codes. These are being shared with other countries.

“The FCDO will update travel guidance on their website, by country, when agreements are in place, indicating acceptance of our certification / app.”

Travellers should check the latest UK Government travel advice which will give updated information on travel to individual countries including any Covid-related entry requirements via www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

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