'Vaccine certificates' may be needed in near future to avoid restrictions at social events in Ireland
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'Vaccine certificates' may be needed in near future to avoid restrictions at social events in Ireland

PEOPLE may be required to provide proof of a Covid-19 vaccination to avoid public health restrictions going forward.

Vaccination certificates might be in Ireland's future as the Government assesses the potential impact of its Covid-19 vaccination programme.

In order to attend social events and public gatherings, these certificates may become mandatory requirements, if you want to avoid restrictive measures being imposed - such as the wearing of face masks and keeping a social distance from others.

At the launch of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said vaccine certificates could play a key role in the fight against the virus, and significantly reduce any potential spread.

The certifcates are currently being considered by the EU, and they could be used to allow public life to return to normal as quickly as possible once vaccines become available.

According to the Irish Independent, a Government source said that "nothing is being ruled in or out" in terms of how the certificates will be used, but noted that other countries have trialled using them for big events.

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Mr Donnelly said he expects the use of the vaccine certificates to "evolve" as more is known about the impact of vaccines in the coming months.

"If it were the case that there was a huge impact on trying to massively reduce transmissibility, then we can think about choosing vaccine certs in a particular way," he said.

"If it turns out that actually it's a marginal impact then we might have to think about it differently."

The idea has already been put forward to major international airline companies, who are considering adopting a Covid-19 vaccine passport system, to identify which passengers have taken the jab, and potentially stop those who haven't taken it from flying.