Emmet Doyle claims COVID-19 certificates will do nothing to 'stem rise of cases'

Derry Aontú Councillor Emmet Doyle has claimed the introduction of COVID-19 certificates for hospitality venues will 'do nothing to stem the rise of COVID-19 cases in the community'.

Emmet Doyle
Emmet Doyle

He said the decision of the Executive to bring in COVID-19 vaccine, negative test and recovery certificates for Derry pubs, restaurants and cafés is the wrong approach to addressing rising cases of the virus.

“The introduction of these passports will do nothing to stem the rise of COVID-19 cases in the community, indeed their continued use in the Republic is a clear demonstration of this, yet politicians seem hell-bent on going ahead," he said.

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The Derry councillor claimed the Executive were 'seeking relevance' with the new measures.

"Creating health policy via press release is a dangerous precedent for so-called political leaders seeking relevance in this crisis. We have people who cannot undertake second vaccines due to medical conditions and many others who due to health complications will effectively be locked out of society with these measures.

"People need to see that measures are proportionate, effective and not dreamt up by politicians as a way out of this pandemic. I fear there will now be growing reluctance to undertake a vaccine jab due to this move by the Executive, and a knock-on effect for the hospitality industry," he claimed.

Colr. Doyle said public confidence needs to be built and pointed out that the certification system will prohibit those who are unvaccinated, untested or unable to provide proof of recovery from going to pubs, restaurants and cafés.

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"Without public confidence in measures brought about to stem the pandemic, we will continue to stumble from pillar to post without the desired effects," said Colr. Doyle.

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Yesterday Health Minister Robin Swann announced that a negative Lateral Flow Test in the previous 48 hours would be sufficient proof for certification for entry to hospitality venues.

Colr. Doyle has called for the widespread roll-out of testing but does not believe it should be compulsory.

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"Aontú has long called for the use of antigen testing in the Republic whilst the Government tried and failed every other mechanism available to them. We will not support mandatory vaccination passports whose use has not stemmed infections and continues to put the health service in peril.

"Everyone who wishes to get the vaccine should do so to protect themselves and others, but seeking to cajole rather than inform those who have misgivings will simply not work and we will soon be on a fast track back to restrictions by the time politicians wake up and realise shooting in the dark many months after the beginning of this crisis will further erode confidence that they have a plan to return to normality," he said.