The measure is part of a series of sustained actions that Health Minister Robin Swann says are needed to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infection in the north.
He said: âCertification should be seen as one piece in a puzzle of required measures. Other measures include significantly increased use of face coverings, more people working from home, and more social distancing. We need to limit our contact and always keep in mind the importance of fresh air and good ventilation in dispersing COVID-19 particles.
Derry’s COVID rate exceeds 400 cases per 100,000 for the first time in more than a month …
âWe also need to continue to accelerate the rollout of our vaccine booster shots and continue to encourage more people to come forward for their first and second doses.
âThe case of COVID certification in the hotel industry is not complicated. It can reduce the number of people infected in high risk settings. Vaccinated people are less likely to be infected and sick than unvaccinated people. And the virus is only transmitted by infected people. “
Mr Swann said the rate of transmission of COVID-19 is too high and the measure is needed to force it down. He also refused to rule out other restrictions.
âOur health and social protection system is under serious strain. We need to act. Let me also point out that I don’t want to see new COVID restrictions on our economy or our daily lives. Such a decision is far from inevitable.
âWe can all play our part in changing the direction of this pandemic. It is in all of our hands. By following public health advice, we can help each other ensure our mutual safety and support our health workers.
âWe all want this pandemic to be over, but just wishing it was gone is never going to be enough. A united effort across society is what is needed to get us through this winter. “
COVID certification requires proof of full immunization status, or negative lateral flow test within the previous 48 hours, or proof of recovery from a positive PCR test within the previous 30 to 180 days.
The lobby expressed disappointment with this decision.
Reacting to the decision to impose a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine, negative tests or recovery certificates, Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster, said: Critical time of the year, they will have to be the executors of the regime, and it is our staff who will face the abuses.
âEvidence shows that this will have a negative impact on attendance and increase costs during the most important part of the year. “