Hospitality Vaccine Passport Another Example of Extreme Route of Irish Government
Aontú Leader and Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has called on the government inject common sense into the debate on hospitality reopening. He stated;
“The Irish Government has taken the most extreme policies in relation to restrictions in all of Europe. Workplaces are closed longer in Ireland than any other EU country. Indoor Hospitality is closed nowhere else in all continental Europe. Ireland is one of only 6 countries that has not embraced antigen testing. Schools, Health Care, Religious Services and even the building of houses were all closed longer here than the vast majority of other European countries”.
“Under the government legislation, that it seeks to ram through the Dáil in just a few hours, you will be able to fly to Denmark, have a meal indoors without a vaccine and yet you will not be able to walk to your local restaurant and do the same.
The contradictions don’t end there. A waiter will be able to work in a restaurant without a vaccine but won’t be able to have a pint at the end of his or her shift. They will be able to go across the road to a wedding and eat and drink all night indoors. Yet they wont be able to attend a family confirmation in their back garden along with a dozen other people the next day. A family will be able to go for a meal with an unvaccinated son or daughter who is 17 years old but if their child is 18 it will cost them a €2,000 fine”.
“At the heart of this is discrimination. For the 1st time in this republic there will be a two-tier citizenship. Some citizens will be able to avail of a service and others won’t. A person with an allergic reaction who can’t take a vaccine will be discriminated against because of their health. The government themselves are on record in saying that vaccine hesitancy is only made worse by this time of mandatory vaccine legislation. Its not by accident that no other European country went down this road. When the EU Travel Certificate was being designed it was clear that other countries would not except such discrimination. And as a result testing was included. Indeed countries such as Denmark included antigen testing to ensure that hospitality could function and there would not he discrimination in terms of vaccines. Yet in Ireland the government has been talking about antigen testing for a year. The EU gave the go ahead last December and only now is a working group being set up to look into it”.
“We understand that Hospitality is over a barrel. 150,000 workers have been out of work for 450 days. Owners and workers are being pushed into poverty and economic ruin. They are desperate to open at this stage. Aontú is a practical pragmatic party. We don’t believe that these measures are unnecessary at this point but we are urging the government to at least include antigen testing at pharmacies in their plans in order to delete the discriminatory core of their proposals. Covid is real and we need to be careful. According to the ECDC, outside Iberia, Ireland has one of the higher rates of Covid Transmission despite being an outlier in terms of restrictions. Refusal to include Antigen tests as a tool in our fight against Covid has surely not helped in this regard”.