Nightclub owners face fines for Covid breaches
Nightclubs and venues that breach new ticketing laws will be fined up to €2,500 under regulations which come into force today.
Tickets must be purchased at least one hour in advance and contain names and phone numbers to facilitate contact tracing, while patrons should be advised their details will be held for 28 days.
Under the regulations, ticket resale or exchange is not allowed but tickets can be cancelled and then re-allocated by the nightclub manager.
As is required across the hospitality sector, Covid certs and IDs are required for entry.
People must also maintain one-metre social distancing in the queue for the bar in nightclubs and at live events under the new guidelines.
Yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin rejected suggestions that the industry had been treated unfairly, saying the virus was to blame for the restrictions that were in place.
He said nobody had been treated like dirt in relation to the reopening of the nightclub sector and said some representative groups, such as the Licensed Vintners Association, needed to moderate their language.
Separately, the Irish Pharmacy Union has criticised the decision to exclude community pharmacies from the Covid-19 booster vaccination programme which begins next week for those aged over 60.
People aged 60 to 69 years will be immunised at HSE vaccination centres, while those aged 70 to 79 years will get it from their GP.
The IPU said there are over 1,000 vaccinating pharmacies in Ireland and their exclusion will only slow down the roll out of boosters.
The HSE will begin contacting eligible people next week to schedule appointments for their booster vaccine.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the National director of the HSE’s Vaccine Programme said if there are people in those age groups who have not been vaccinated, “there is always an opportunity to be vaccinated”.
Damien McCallion said people in the 60-69 age group who will receive their booster through the HSE’s immunisation clinics, will not have to do anything as they will be contacted and offered a date to receive the booster.
He said every person who registered for a vaccine but did not get vaccinated, or those who have only had one vaccine dose, will be contacted individually “as part of our uptake campaign to encourage them to complete their full cycle”.
Mr McCallion said that the vaccine programme is still reporting a good uptake, with between 1,500 and 2,000 people a day coming forward to be vaccinated.
The campaign is also using pop up vaccines centres and pharmacies to provide access to vaccination in some communities where uptake is low.