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18th Jan 2022

Use of Covid cert to be wound down this year, says minister

Changes are coming.

Nphet is expected to make a number of recommendations when it comes to easing restrictions on Thursday when it meets Government officials, with Covid certs set to be discussed.

While the rules on hospitality closing times and an increase in the numbers allowed at indoor and outdoor events are expected to be announced, talk of the use of Covid certs is also set to be mentioned.

It seems that the new curfew will return to a midnight closing time for bars, restaurants and cultural venues from the end of this month or the beginning of February.

Restrictions are set to be further eased at a later date when it is said that the requirement on premises would possibly be scaled back to just checking Covid passes.

This would mean that more people would be allowed to enter venues and establishments as long as they have proof of vaccination.

While there is yet to be an official announcement of the new rules, sources have said that they believe it could be as early as Friday, according to RTÉ.

Minister of State Ossian Smyth said he does not want to see the requirement for Covid passes to go on past the end of March.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, he said that these were part of restrictions that are hoped to be removed by the end of the year, but should still be needed for international travel.

Also speaking on the show, Dr Mary Favier, the Covid-19 adviser to the Irish College of General Practitioners, said she hopes restrictions will end “reasonably quickly”.

Saying it is important that people return to their lives and a balance of restrictions is needed, she added that easing the restrictions in GP surgeries would be very much welcomed.

Photograph: Leah Farrell /