The Irish pub rules now likely after October 22 as government suggest changes to plan

By Ciara Phelan

Vaccine passes to access services such as bars and cafes could be extended beyond October 22, under plans being considered by the Government.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said Covid-19 “has taken a turn for the negative in the last week” and the Government now needs to assess whether it should proceed with lifting all restrictions.

Mr Martin was speaking at Government Buildings this morning and said “there is a need now for all of us to knuckle down” and the rise in positivity rates “is a cause for concern.”

His warning comes as NPHET has warned that we are on a “knife edge” as there has been an increase in Covid-19 cases and there is concern over the numbers in hospitals and ICU.

A senior Government source has said the continuing use of vaccine certs is one measure being examined by the Government for access to the hospitality sector.

The use of the vaccine passess were due to expire on October 22. Speaking to reporters this morning, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris indicated this is one measure that could perhaps stay in place.

He said: “I would think we should be asking more nuanced questions of each other and of Government and of public health.

“How can you safely reopen something and keep it open?

“So, for example, on the 22nd of October, vaccine certs were due to no longer be required.”

He said that “perhaps” if vaccine certs were to “stay a little bit longer” it would allow for sectors to stay open safely.

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