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Coveney floats antigen testing as indoor dining solution

The government is reportedly planning to potentially use rapid antigen testing to allow indoor dining and drinking by the end of July, in defiance of NPHET.

Government officials and representatives of the hospitality industry will be meeting today to discuss the re-opening of the sector, and according to several senior cabinet ministers, antigen testing is on the table as a tool which may be employed.

Minister for Foregin Affairs Simon Coveney mentioned it as a possibility when speaking to RTÉ Radio’s This Week.

“There are six EU countries that allow indoor dining to take place on the basis of vaccine, or they have recovered from covid, or they have tested negative in an antigen test,” he said.

“We are looking at those countries and how they operate that, and the success of it.”

This appears to be a defiance of many senior NPHET members such as Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan and Professor Philip Nolan, both of whom have expressed strong opposition to the widespread use of antigen testing.

It is believed that the government’s domestic vaccine pass will operate similarly to the EU’s Green digital certificate, and is set to be operational by the end of the month.

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