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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Varadkar says antigen testing may be used to allow people gain access to indoor hospitality

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said antigen tests could be used in Ireland to allow people gain access to indoor hospitality when it reopens.

Government and representatives from the hospitality sector are meeting today to develop plans to reopen indoor hospitality later this month.

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Initially it is likely that indoor hospitality will only be permitted for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as was said in the advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Leo Varadkar said the initial reopening of the sector will be cautious and will most likely only accept those who are fully vaccinated.

“We’re also looking at the issue of children because we don’t want to split up families, and then the issue potentially with people who have been tested recently,” he said.

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He was then asked about antigen testing and could it be used to permit people entry to indoor dining.

“It is one of the things that’s under examination at the moment,” Varadkar replied.

“That would be a departure from public health advice and NPHET advice so we’d be loath to do that right away, but it is an option that’s under consideration. But I would bear in mind that we’re really powering through the vaccine programme now.”

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