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Traveling to Republic of Ireland: NI visitors to provide Covid vaccination card for indoor hospitality

Hospitality chief said new rules mean visitors coming over the border will need proof of vaccination and identity

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People from Northern Ireland will be expected to produce their NI-issued vaccination card as proof of immunity at venues in the Republic, it has been suggested.

Pubs and restaurants over the border have resumed indoor service after the lifting of Covid restrictions on Monday.

New guidelines for the hospitality sector are now in place in the Republic which insist customers – including those from Northern Ireland – must have official proof they have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from Covid-19 within the last 180 days.

For people in the Republic, they can prove eligibility through the EU's Digital Covid Cert with its QR codes.

Alternatively they can show a Health Service Executive Covid-19 vaccination record, or proof of immunity under the Health Amendment No 2 Act 2021.

President of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, Mark McGowan, said it was his understanding that the Northern Ireland vaccination card will be accepted as proof of immunity at venues in the Republic.

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"Once valid proof of immunity is shown at the door along with photographic evidence, that will be sufficient. It has to be an official ID and official vaccination cert. We want tourists from the north coming down,” he told the BBC.

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People travelling across the border will also be expected to produce photographic identification such as a driving licence.

Under the regulations, anyone who has not been vaccinated or is without immunity, will be forbidden from entering premises.

The lead person at a table or a solo customer will be asked to give his or her name for contact-tracing purposes.

Once inside, there will be a limit of six adults per table, no bar service and, customers can only remove their masks once seated.

Anyone who attempts to enter businesses with fake identification will risk being fined €2,000.

Only vaccinated or immune adults entering premises will be able to bring unvaccinated children under 18 indoors with them.

Under-18s do not need to provide proof of vaccination or immunity, if they are accompanied by an adult who fits the entry criteria.

A staff member will scan and confirm validity of the vaccination or recovered status, using the EU Digital Covid Certificate Checker or other validation of proof of immunity.

Restaurants or pubs that are unable to confirm vaccination or immunity status must, under the regulations, refuse access to the venue.

However, businesses are then allowed to offer outdoor hospitality, where available, to customers.


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