Leo Varadkar says alternative to "vaccine exception" is "not opening at all"
"Is it fair to say to businesses that you may never reopen?"
Leo Varadkar has said that the alternative to opening with the "vaccine exception" is "not opening at all" until herd immunity has been reached.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio's Morning Ireland, he said that while the proposal may be "unfair" to younger people who have yet to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, the other option would be telling businesses "you may never reopen".
He said the alternative to the plan suggested by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) would be waiting until herd immunity is reached which he says may happen "in September" but "maybe not even then."
"The alternative to opening with the green pass is not opening at all. Having to wait until September when we reach herd immunity, maybe not even then, who knows? he said.
"There will be more variants then, we'll be heading into winter, so is it fair to say to businesses that you may never reopen?"
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that the reopening of indoor dining could come sooner for people who are vaccinated as a new system to prove people have received the jab is currently being drawn up.
When asked if there was a possibility that other indoor activities that recently reopened such as cinemas, hair salons, and non-essential retail would also be using the system, Martin didn't rule out the option, adding that they will "work with the sectors".
"We will examine now the advice as we've received in respect of that from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET)," he said.