The Government needs to go "back to the drawing board" and work out an alternative to "really discriminatory" proposals around indoor dining, Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall has said.
It was confirmed yesterday that the return of indoor dining will be delayed by at least two weeks.
Plans are now being drawn up around opening indoor activities only to fully vaccinated people or those who've recovered from COVID.
The proposal has proven immediately controversial, with both the hospitality industry and opposition politicians voicing their objections.
Labour leader Alan Kelly described it as "absolutely bananas", while pub and restaurant owners have claimed it will be unworkable.
Deputy Shortall told Newstalk Breakfast she really can't see how the proposed 'vaccine passport' scheme is going to work.
She said: “Essentially, what it’s doing is discriminating against younger people who haven’t had the opportunity to be vaccinated yet.
“The Government is talking about a situation where people who are unvaccinated, working in hospitality, are OK to work in hospitality but not OK to actually avail of the hospitality.
“I think it’s really discriminatory, and also completely unfair to expect businesspeople who are running restaurants and pubs to check with people at their door what their health status is.
“That’s not on - it’s not acceptable for people to be doing that."
Deputy Shortall said ministers now need to sit down with the hospitality industry and work out a plan to "mitigate the risks" of the virus.
She suggested there hasn't been much discussion about the issue of ventilation in recent weeks, including how good ventilation of an indoor space can decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission.