It is frustrating that some businesses are not checking COVID vaccine certs, according to the Chief Clinical Officer.
An ESRI survey published last week found that around a third of customers are not being asked for COVID certs in pubs and restaurants.
Around 44,000 new COVID cases have been reported in Ireland in the past two weeks – and the five-day moving average has now increased to 3,551.
Yesterday morning also saw an increase in the number of patients in hospital – up 5.5% on last week.
While the number of patients in ICU also increased, the 83 recorded yesterday is down seven on last week.
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, HSE CCO Dr Colm Henry said there has been a fall-off in cases among older age groups.
He noted that only 11% of the cases are over the age of 65; however, “well over 50%” of the hospitalisations are in the same age group.
“We are seeing a fall-off in cases among older people certainly and that may well be due to this booster vaccination programme,” he said.
“Particularly in those over-85s and over-65s we are seeing a fall-off in cases, bucking the trend we are seeing in younger age groups.
“So, it is a more complex story than just the cases going up alone. The harm associated with those cases is certainly not as much as it was in January when we didn’t have a vaccine programme and certainly not as much in those older age groups.”
He voiced his frustration at figures suggesting some pubs and restaurants are still not checking people’s COVID certs.
“It is frustrating of course and we can do better. What we showed last year was that when people rally together, not just to protect themselves and their families but this sense of solidarity – people want to do the right thing and want to be able to do the right thing.
“So, we can do better. Since October 22nd, we carried out just short of 2,500 checks. 70% compliant, 7% were not compliant at all and 23% required additional measures.
“So, it is a mixed message and we can do better.”
The CCO insisted most customers in pubs and restaurants want to certs being checked.
“We have seen in this country how people can comply beyond their own expectations with the smoking ban,” he said.
“When it came in years ago nobody really believed it would happen, but it did and I really believe we can do better here and I think people who go to restaurants and go to pubs, they want to see this implemented too.”