Marita Moloney
Marita Moloney

09.32 4 Jul 2021


Share this article


People who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 could be given access to indoor dining if they get a negative test, it has been reported today.

On Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed the return of indoor activities is being delayed by at least two weeks.

Indoor dining is expected to open to fully vaccinated people or those who have recovered from coronavirus sometime after July 19th, with a system for managing it being worked out over the coming weeks.

Advertisement

The announcement came following a stark warning from the National Public Health Emergency Team about the risks posed by the Delta variant.

NPHET warned the Government that in a worst-case scenario, Ireland could see more than 2,000 deaths COVID-19 related deaths by September.

The proposals around the vaccine pass have been criticised by both the hospitality industry and opposition parties.

The Business Post reports today that the government is expected to include a testing element with any 'corona pass'.

However, Padraig Cribben, Chief Executive of the Vintners' Federation of Ireland, does not believe the system is practical.

Speaking to Aideen Finnegan on Newstalk Breakfast Weekends, he said there are "a host of reasons" why the pass isn't workable, and he will be outlining these when industry stakeholders meet with health officials on Monday.

Unvaccinated people could access indoor dining if they test negative for COVID-19

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

"We believe that publicans, restauranteurs using this will be open to legal challenge under equality law, under discrimination law, under GDPR," Mr Cribben said.

"It's also not workable from the point of view of it creating a two-tier society.

"What do we do if a family come up to the door, parents are fully vaccinated, teenage children are not, do we tell the parents to come on in but you have to leave the children outside?

He feels there are alternative solutions to allow for the safe return of indoor dining while taking account of the fact that "public health is of paramount importance".

"We worked last year under very strict guidelines, there was very little evidence of any outbreaks emanating from the sector," he said.

"I think it's looking at the protocols, looking at how the protocols can be fully implemented and policed because that's the key to making sure we live in a safe situation.

"The other two key things will be the rollout of the vaccination programme and very importantly, the effect that will be seen, particularly in England, of the link between the Delta variant and hospitalisation.

"One of the things that we are aware of is that that link is in no way as strong as it was with the Alpha variant."

pubs Grogans Castle Lounge on South William Street. Photo: Eamonn Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Mr Cribben added that antigen testing could play a part in the return of indoor hospitality, but that there are a number of issues about how it would be used that need to be examined first.

"Antigen testing may play a part but if I live in rural Ireland and I decide tomorrow night I want to go to the local pub for a couple of pints, where am I going to get an antigen test?" he questioned.

"Generally, with visits to pubs, some are planned, and obviously in the current situation, almost all have to be planned.

"But a lot of the visits to pubs are impulse, and on impulse we don't get antigen testing.

"Who's going to pay for antigen testing? In many places across Europe, the governments pick up the tab for antigen testing. I'm not so sure the same appetite for that will be with our government."

Main image: Empty tables in Grogans Castle Lounge on South William Street. Photo: Eamonn Farrell / RollingNews.ie

Share this article


Read more about

COVID-19 Restrictions Corona Pass Covid-19 Indoor Dining Indoor Hospitality Irish Pubs Pubs Vitners Association

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Moncrieff

Moncrieff

14:00-16:00

Share

Up next

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on