A Fine Gael MEP says it would be "logical" to let vaccinated people dine indoors in pubs and restaurants from July 5th even if the full reopening doesn't go ahead.
Sean Kelly believes something like the EU's green cert for travel needs to be looked at for other sectors "if we're not going to open up".
A decision on whether to move ahead with the planned return of indoor dining will be made by Cabinet tomorrow, amid rising concern over the Delta variant of coronavirus.
There's been growing speculation that the resumption of indoor hospitality could be delayed by two weeks, although Tánaiste Leo Varadkar today said a delay is "not inevitable".
However, MEP Sean Kelly told Lunchtime Live he "finds it difficult to comprehend" why Ireland's not in sync with the rest of Europe when it comes to indoor dining and larger outdoor activities.
He said: "I’m totally in favour of any restrictions that are logical and necessary.
“If we have restrictions like that and they don’t have them in Europe, you’d have to say… how are we that bit smarter than the people in Europe, or vice versa?
"I think that’s the kind of question people are asking me, and I find it very difficult to give an answer.
“If you’re vaccinated - and the population is becoming vaccinated more and more - that should lead to some changes pretty rapidly, as they're doing in Europe."
Ok,critics will say I’m a member of a party in Gov. -but I’m @Europarl_EN not #Dail .2 Questions I’m asked -why are there thousands every day #Euros2021 & v few at #GAA matches ? Why is indoor dining allowed in #EU & not in Ir. ? Same #COVID19 , same #vaccines !! 🤫🤭🥱 pic.twitter.com/0dVH6avZ8K
— Seán Kelly MEP (@SeanKellyMEP) June 27, 2021
Asked if vaccinated people should be allowed dine indoors from July 5th, Mr Kelly said: “That’d be logical to me, quite frankly: if they can prove they’re vaccinated, there’s no danger to them or others, and it would also help the industry.
“When things start to improve, you’d expect we’d be making matters easier for people - especially those who’ve been vaccinated.”
The Ireland South MEP said the current complications around travel - including quarantine times and documentation - will be taken care of by the EU's green cert.
However, he argued the same needs to be done in other areas as well.
He said: “If we’re not going to open up, I think something like that needs to be looked at... something that makes sense and is logical, and would be in line with what's happening in Europe.
“The people in Europe can’t all be fools, making mistakes, and we’re the wisest people in the world."