Unvaccinated people have hit out at the Government after being banned from using the gym.
Since 7th December all gym users have been required to show proof of vaccination before entry and one chain, Gym Plus, has said that 200 people cancelled their memberships as a result.
One fitness fan, who previously went to the gym three or four times a week, told Newstalk that he would no long go after the Government introduced the mandatory vaccination rule:
“Once they brought in the COVID certificates I decided I didn’t want any part of it.
“I don’t want any part of this QR code - I dont think it’s not anyone’s business if you’ve been vaccinated or sick. I just don’t get it.”
“I had COVID, I can get a COVID recovery certificate but I still don’t want any part of using it, I don’t think it should be anybody’s [business] if I walk into the gym or anywhere else if I’ve had a vaccine.”
The gym user said he had considered getting the vaccine in the new year but was feeling put off by the feeling he was being pushed into it:
“The way the Government are going about it, that’s what’s putting me off… They’re not being nice about it… it’s forcing people to get it, it’s putting me off getting any vaccine.”
Some gyms say they have received angry emails from their unvaccinated members about the new requirement.
However, one Dublin gym owner said he had decided not to carry out the checks:
“Since the rollout of the COVID pass in hospitality in June, it doesn’t seem to have impacted on the rates of transmission in these settings.
“In terms of the COVID pass being effective in mitigating, the data certainly doesn’t point towards that.
“Last week, An Tánaiste [Leo Varadkar] said that the COVID passes hadn’t met expectations in terms of spreading the mitigation of COVID. But what they have done is they have encouraged more people to come forward for vaccination.
“And I think that’s why they’re rolling it out in the gyms.”
He believes that a disproportionate number of gym users are unvaccinated because they believe they are fit and healthy and so don’t need to bother getting vaccinated.
However, Kildare-based Dr Brendan O’Shea says even fit people who don’t get vaccinated are gambling with their health:
“I think we have to empathise with everybody and everybody has very strong opinions around this.
“People are really playing Russian roulette if they intend to not be vaccinated.
“It’s Russian roulette at the end of which if you’re unlucky you will be the person in the intensive care unit.
“You will be the person who will need to go into the acute hospital setting.
“And all of us in clinical practice in this country have seen perfectly healthy adults in the last 18 months become seriously sick - and in some cases have prolonged intensive care admissions, prolonged ventilation.
“That is the game of Russian roulette that people are playing when they now, in December 2021, choose to not be vaccinated.
“You might as well say, ‘I’m fit and healthy, so I don’t need to wear a safety belt and I don’t need to drive on the speed limit because if I have an accident, I’ll probably be alright.’”