• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he hopes Nphet’s dire projections on Covid-19 in Ireland are wrong – and admitted a proposed policy to only allow fully vaccinated for indoors activities is “unfair" on young people.

Jun 30, 2021

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he hopes Nphets dire projections on Covid-19 in Ireland are wrong  and admitted a proposed policy to only allow fully vaccinated for indoors activities is unfair” on young people. 
Mr Varadkar said he hopes the modelling that was outlined to Government last Monday is wrong. 
Yesterday, the Government announced that indoor dining will not return on July 5 as planned and that the earliest date it may reopen for vaccinated people or people who have recovered from the virus is July 19. 
A vaccine pass will be developed to allow people to avail of these activities. Mr Varadkar said this was not something the Government anticipated doing so it needs a few weeks to develop it. 
“I hope Nphet is being too pessimistic here and I hope Nphet turns out to be wrong, he told RTÉ Radio Ones Morning Ireland. 
“I hope the situation in England and Scotland doesnt deteriorate in the way we believe it will and if that modelling turns out to be wrong it can be reviewed and it can be changed.
However, he said the Government will not be commissioning an independent evaluation on the projections. 
The data from the modelling group will be published, all the assumptions behind it will be made available and i would encourage anyone who is interested in this area- mathematicians, scientists, doctors, public health experts, to take a look at the data and scrutinise it, he said. 
The Tánaiste admitted that a proposed policy to allow only-vaccinated people to participate in certain activities such as indoor dining is unfair on young people. 
However, he said he doesnt believe anything is fair about this pandemic and that the positive news is young people will be vaccinated in the next few weeks. 
Speaking about how this certificate is unfair on young people, who havent had the option yet to receive the vaccine, the Tánaiste said: I dont think anything is fair about this pandemic and science isnt always fair.
The alternative is not opening at all and waiting until September when we perhaps achieve herd immunity. 
It is unfair [on young people]. The best thing we can do for younger people is to get them vaccinated as soon as possible.
There are people in their 20s and 30s that think they will never get the vaccine and they are they are going to get it, they will get it in the next few weeks.
Speaking about the legalities of the vaccine passport system, Mr Varadkar said the attorney general said it was lawful but that he does want to consider it again. 
He added that like the vaccine cert that will be used for international EU travel, providing a negative PCR test to obtain a pass for domestic use will be considered. 
“I definitely think we have to consider testing, bear in mind how the digital certificate works is its vaccine, recovered, or a recent negative test, he said.
“Thats how the cert works at the moment, so I think we have to give close consideration to it.
“It would be a departure from public health advice, Ive got to be straight about that, but I think it is something that will have to form part of our considerations.