The Taoiseach has said that the public will have to “buy into” the rules over needing vaccine passes to get into pubs or restaurants.
This comes after government ministers agreed legislation, allowing for the reopening of indoor dining on a phased basis from July 26.
First, people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be allowed dine indoors.
The next phase will allow people to dine indoors with a negative PCR test, while the final phase will allow people to dine indoors with a negative antigen test.
Micheál Martin made these remarks when walking into Cabinet yesterday.
“Compliance is something that we all have to buy into”, Mr Martin said. “Government has to create a framework that’s sensible in terms of a compliance framework and compliance officers working with industry ensure that this is done in a compliant way”.
He also added, “We want to get the balance right between managing to suppress the virus, and getting jobs in the economy back going again”.
The Taoiseach was also asked if these Covid inspectors would be working 9 to 5 hours, which he had this to say.
“I remember when I brought in the smoking ban..I had the exact same questions”, he remarked. “And that’s what I meant by compliance”.
“I think people understand what the Government is doing here”, he continued. “They understand the rationale and the motivation behind this”
“And I think people will comply with it”.
The Taoiseach on “Checks and balances”
Mr Martin also detailed how these Covid officers will conduct their inspection.
“In the same way that you check your age or your contact details, now the premises will check if you have a cert”, he said.
He also added, “Covid compliance officers will be able to come into the premises and check the system so they would check the book to make sure, at the moment, when you enter a restaurant you would have your name and your phone number taken now you’d present your certificate, so the Covid compliance office would check that that was done”.
The Fianna Fáil leader said that these officers may enter a premises without a warrant and inspect the vaccine proof taken at the door.
“There will not be people spot checking our tables, individual tables in the restaurants, it’s really just to assess whether the operator complied with the conditions”, he explained.
“The gardaí can be notified if there are breaches”.
As for nightclubs, Tanáiste Leo Varadkar said that it would be “quite some time” before they reopen. More here.
On a more positive note, Aer Lingus have revealed up to 38 places across Europe that people can fly to and from Dublin and Cork when restrictions ease next week. More on that story here.