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Use of Digital COVID Certs should be extended until the new year - FF TD and FG senator

Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless says he sees "no difficulty" with continuing the use of the passes "for the foreseeable future".
Newstalk
Newstalk

12.43 15 Oct 2021


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Use of Digital COVID Certs sho...

Use of Digital COVID Certs should be extended until the new year - FF TD and FG senator

Newstalk
Newstalk

12.43 15 Oct 2021


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The use of Digital COVID Certs should be extended into the new year, a Fine Gael senator and Fianna Fáil TD have said.

It's a measure being considered by the Government to allow the planned re-opening on October 22nd to go ahead.

Restrictions around nightclubs, gigs, venue capacity and social distancing are due to lift at the end of next week.

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Under the initial reopening plans, only very limited legal restrictions - such as mask-wearing on public transport and in healthcare settings - would remain.

However, rising case numbers and hospitalisations have put that in doubt.

Under the existing reopening plan, the need to show proof of vaccination for indoor venues such as restaurants, pubs and cinemas would be lifted next week.

Fine Gael Senator Garret Ahearn believes extending the use of vaccine passports beyond the 22nd is now the way to go.

He said: "People are still nervous - I think if we get rid of the digital COVID cert, and we let everyone go back into indoor settings... those people who are nervous about."

Senator Ahearn said there has been a sense October 22nd would be the day everything would be back to normal, but he believes there's a need for caution as we head into winter.

He said: "If we don't want restrictions to be imposed and go back to where we were in March / April, I think the solution to all of that is to continue with the digital COVID cert."

He believes the use of the certs should be continued "right up until the new year" - suggesting it could be another incentive for more people to get vaccinated as the Christmas season approaches.

Fianna Fáil TD James Lawless, meanwhile, said he sees "no difficulty" with continuing the use of the passes "for the foreseeable future - certainly until the end of the year and maybe even beyond".

He observed: "It has worked, and worked well.

"It really means the liberties and freedoms we've all enjoyed in the past - that were temporarily denied - are restored to all those who've been vaccinated.

"If people for whatever reason don't wish to be vaccinated or choose not to... that's the own independent and personal choice, but it shouldn't interfere with the liberties the rest of us want to enjoy."

He said there should "absolutely" be exceptions put in place for the small number of people who can't get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Main image: File photos of James Lawless and Digital COVID Cert. Pictures via RollingNews.ie
Reporting by Sean Defoe. Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice

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