Dublin is eyeing what is taking place in Jerusalem and Copenhagen to see if it might allow its own citizens into pubs and schools once they are vaccinated against COVID-19, the Irish Mirror reported on Thursday.
Irish Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday that Dublin pays close attention to Israel and Denmark to see if these nations will benefit from COVID-19 policy or meet “bloody disaster.” Varadkar, who serves as the Irish Deputy Prime Minister, told his Fine Gael Party members that citizens who had taken two shots could use their phones to prove they have done so upon entering businesses and institutions.
He warned that it is too early for Dublin to roll out such a policy as not enough people have been vaccinated at this point. In Israel, over half the population received both doses and the economy is rapidly reopening. He suggested that Ireland could learn from the Israeli experience.
Varadkar is a medical doctor by training and served as the prime minister of Ireland, the first openly gay man to serve in that role. He was replaced by Micheál Martin of his own party in June last year. The current Irish PM (Taoiseach) was a history teacher before entering politics.
He predicted two million people in Ireland will get two shots of the COVID-19 vaccine in April with a little under a million more vaccine doses meant to arrive this month. There are roughly five million people living in Ireland, and the Tánaiste said it is unlikely one million people will complete the vaccination process by the end of March.
He said the top priority is to get children back to schools on April 12.
Varadkar said that the Irish National Public Health Emergency Team will present the government with its recommendations on Monday based on the latest figures.