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06 Dec 2021

'Customers should complain' - Clampdown on businesses for Covid cert checks over bank holiday weekend

'Customers should complain' - Clampdown on businesses for Covid cert checks over bank holiday weekend

Dr. Tony Holohan said customers should complain if pubs and restaurants don’t enforce Covid passes properly.

Health inspectors will be checking pubs and restaurants over the October bank holiday weekend, to ramp up compliance with Covid-19 rules across the hospitality sector.

A meeting with the Government's Regulatory Forum was held yesterday amid rising concerns over a lack of compliance in some sections of the industry.

The high-level group, which includes Gardaí, the HSE and senior Government officials, agreed there is a need for a major clampdown on businesses who fail to ask customers for their Digital Covid Certificates and identification before entry.

It comes as new figures show the HSE carried out 5,621 checks of businesses providing indoor hospitality since July.

Just under 70% (3,864) of businesses were found to be fully compliant with Covid-19 measures, while 2% (136) were non-compliant. The remaining 28% (1593) were found to require additional compliance measures.

Gardaí will also increase their presence on streets in an attempt to address anti-social behaviour linked to the easing of restrictions on bars and nightclubs along with checking if businesses are adhering to licensing laws on opening hours, which this weekend return to normal for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

Taoiseach Michéal Martin said yesterday he will take a personal interest in ensuring certs and identification are being checked across the hospitality sector before customers are permitted to eat or drink inside.

“I’ll be looking for more regular compliance reports in respect of adherence to the presentation of Digital Covid Certs and other protective measures. I have asked my secretary general to compile that report,” he said.

Meanwhile, chief medical officer Dr. Tony Holohan said customers should complain if pubs and restaurants don’t enforce Covid passes properly.

He said he is in favour of better enforcement of Covid passes at pubs and restaurants, and that if owners want to “attract and maintain” loyal customers, they should enforce the passes properly.

“Maybe it isn’t the easiest thing for people – particularly in this country – to start to complain to a restaurant when they go in,” he said.

“But the ideal thing would be to leave and to not go back to that environment.”

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