Ruairí Power, President of University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) decried the planned implementation of a vaccine pass by the government in a press release today stating that “The Government’s plans for a discriminatory two-tiered re-opening of indoor dining is concerning.” Power believes that students are being left behind yet another time, a move which he described as “incredibly disheartening.”
The government announced on Tuesday, 29th June, that Cabinet had agreed to postpone the reopening of indoor dining pending the implementation of a vaccine pass, a way for customers can prove they have received a Covid-19 vaccine. This came following increasing levels of concern from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) regarding the rise of Covid-19 variants among the Irish public.
Power and UCDSU reacted to this announcement saying that “The Government’s plans for a discriminatory two-tiered re-opening of indoor dining is concerning. Students have been informed that they will not be permitted to enter indoor hospitality settings prior to receiving a vaccination.”
Many on social media have highlighted the apparent hypocrisy in the proposed reopening schedule, Power stated that “These same students in many cases have been working at the forefront, propping up our hospitality and retail sectors for the past 16 months in challenging and often hazardous circumstances. To be left behind once again by Government is incredibly disheartening.”
Power stated that students have “put their lives on hold” during the pandemic and suffered through “entirely online” third-level education. Power called on the government to “scrap this initiative and focus instead on a sustainable, fair and safe reopening of society that doesn’t rely on leaving young people behind.”
Hugh Dooley – News Editor