Thousands line the streets of Dublin to protest 'discriminatory' decision to reopen pubs for vaccinated people only
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Thousands line the streets of Dublin to protest 'discriminatory' decision to reopen pubs for vaccinated people only

SWATHES of angry demonstrators lined the streets of Dublin last night to protest new legislation ushering in the return of indoor dining.

On Wednesday evening, Government narrowly passed a bill to introduce new laws for the country's pubs and restaurants.

The legislation, which passed by 74 votes to 68, states that only fully vaccinated individuals, or anyone who has recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months, may access indoor dining areas.

The rules have been labelled 'discriminatory' by critics who feel they deny people the choice to accept the Covid-19 vaccine or not.

Anyone who is unable to take the vaccine, who has chosen not to take one, or has simply not been offered theirs yet, will be unable to access indoor areas of pubs, restaurants and caf├ęs across the country until the legislation expires in October - at which point the rules could be extended.

Following yesterday's announcement, protesters took to the streets in the centre of the Irish capital to voice their displeasure.

Gathering outside the Convention Centre, demonstrators chanted "shame on you" as government officials watched on from the windows.

On social media, some described the laws as "draconian", complaining that they were being coerced into taking a vaccine before they were sure about its long-term effects.

Others said the laws will create an even wider divide in Irish society, and lead to segregation and resentment between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

Hundreds of people are understood to have similarly taken to the streets of Cork in response to the legislation.