By Dominic McGrath, PA
Vaccine passes may be needed for hospital visits, Leo Varadkar has said.
The Tanaiste told reporters on Wednesday that the Government was working with the HSE on the introduction of a requirement for vaccine passes or Covid-19 certificates for anyone visiting Irish hospitals.
He said: “I think it does make a lot of sense. Hospitals are full of vulnerable people who are immunocompromised and we don’t want them getting the virus, and hospitals are also full of people with the virus as well.
“So I think anything we can do to reduce the risk of the virus being introduced to hospitals makes sense to me.”
Earlier this month, the Government announced that a range of Covid-19 restrictions – including the use of Covid-19 vaccine certificates – would remain until early 2022.
Currently, Covid-19 certificates are required for anyone using indoor hospitality.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan told Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly earlier this month that “subject to operational feasibility” the Covid pass could be adopted “as a requirement for visitation to healthcare settings with a provision for exemptions on compassionate grounds”.
“It’s not about stopping visiting. It’s about facilitating safe visits,” he added.
Dr Holohan said Mr Donnelly was working on “operationalising” the measure.