INDOOR dining vaccine certificates could be scrapped in Ireland once the vaccination programme has been completed.
Speaking about Ireland's new "comprehensive" Covid-19 roadmap, which is set to be published on August 31, Taoiseach Micheál Martin suggested that digital vaccine certificates will no longer be needed beyond the end of September.
By then, every adult in Ireland will have been offered both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, and given the country's high uptake, this could negate the need for vaccine passes.
The passes were introduced last month to allow Ireland's hospitality sector to open safely, but critics thought their introduction was an act of discrimination on behalf of the government.
In order to access indoor areas of pubs, restaurants and cafés, citizens must now produce a vaccine pass, which provides proof that you are either fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or that you've recovered from the virus in the last six months.
Some felt as if the new rules discriminated against people who hadn't been offered both of their jabs yet, as well as those who either cannot or have chosen not to accept the vaccine.
Legislation was hurried through the Dáil in order to facilitate vaccine certificates, but was due to expire in mid-October. However, following the Taoiseach's comments, it looks like this date could be moved forward.
Martin emphasised that the government would be guided by advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), insisting that a cautious approach to reopening remains their modus operandi.