There has been little improvement over the past month in the number of bars, cafes, nightclubs and restaurants complying with rules requiring indoor patrons to produce a Covid-19 cert.
Officers from the HSE’s Environmental Health Service have carried out 4,445 checks on hospitality businesses since October 22nd.
Despite a renewed push for compliance by health authorities, The Irish Times reports that 72 per cent of businesses were in compliance - an increase of just two per cent since the start of November.
About six per cent of venues checked were found to be fully “non-compliant”, down one per cent, and 22 per cent were found to be partially non-compliant, also down one per cent.
A HSE spokeswoman said the service had “re-focused its efforts on increased compliance checks across the hospitality sector in recent weeks” in light of the increase in Covid cases and the extension of indoor dining regulations requiring the Covid cert.
“Checks are being undertaken without prior notification, across all counties and at all times of the day/night and at weekends,” she said.
Most compliance checks are carried out by HSE inspectors, but the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has to date carried out 1,466 checks.
While it found that 96 per cent of inspected premises had some sort of system in place to check the Covid certs of customers, some 10 per cent (146) of premises received an “enforcement action” from the authority, which can range from verbal or written advice to prohibition notices.
The results of the compliance checks tally with research from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
The latest ESRI social activity measure, covering November 16th to 23rd, found that there had been no increase in how often Covid certs were checked, despite an increase in the proportion of people dining indoors.
Some 27 per cent of those sitting indoors in pubs and restaurants had reported since August that their Covid certs were not checked, with the corresponding number for cafes being 32 per cent.