A senior IMO doctor is backing comments made by Tony Holohan regarding a boycott of pubs and restaurants which fail to request COVID certificates. Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1’s Morning Ireland, president of the Irish Medical Organisation, Ina Kelly said hospitality businesses need to follow the protocols that insist only those who are fully vaccinated can be served indoors.
“If we see places that aren’t safe, it is best not to go into those and we need to encourage businesses to follow the protocols as well as possible,” she said. “All of this helps us to keep places open while we have a COVID risk in our communities.”
Her comments come in advance of the meeting on Tuesday between representatives of the hospitality industry and Taoiseach, Micheál Martin. The hospitality sector will be briefed on the dangers of the transmission of COVID-19 from the Department of the Taoiseach. The sector has also been warned in advance that consequences will follow non-compliance in the shape of endangerment to the continuing reopening of society.
Chair of the IMO’s GP committee, Denis McCauley, said between one in three to one in two establishments are currently non-compliant. Pointing to the high case numbers in Northern Ireland, the Chairperson said equal rights for both vaccinated and unvaccinated have played a huge part. With 1,028 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 related deaths reported in Northern Ireland on Monday, McCauley said, “I would hate to think that we could get to the same levels of Northern Ireland.”
The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly says pubs and restaurants need to step up, and make sure they’re asking for certificates. Given how hard the lobbied to be opened back up, Dr McCauley said “completely “unacceptable” that there is non-compliance within it. Regarding staff Christmas parties, he has also called for people to ensure that they are booked in with a venue which is checking COVID certs.
Dampening the Christmas spirit, Dr McCauley embraced his inner “Scrooge” and said it would be better not to have a company event this year. Speaking on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show, McCauley requested that if any are to go ahead that they should be “planned and controlled.”
“Nobody likes to cancel Christmas, and no politician would like to cancel Christmas. But I’m a doctor – I have no such issues. We have been told by NPHET to try to limit our amount of socialising, to a certain extent. If it’s a choice between having Christmas with your family and an office party – which one would you choose? I think most of us would choose our family. If you’re going to have an unofficial Christmas party, don’t. If you’re determined to have a party of some form, have it in a controlled environment where all the COVID measures are there.”