SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood MP has welcomed a new app which allows businesses in the North to implement vaccine certification.
The Department of Health has launched Cert Check NI to facilitate use of vaccine certification in hospitality and entertainment settings.
Mr Eastwood said the app would be useful for businesses opting in to vaccine certification, but urged Sinn Féin and DUP ministers to reach agreement on the mandatory introduction of vaccine certification to give certainty to businesses and protect the public and health service ahead of the difficult winter period.
Foyle MP Colum Eastwood said:
“The removing of further restrictions and the reopening of businesses on Halloween brought a much-needed financial boost for businesses and a morale boost for the public. However, we remain seriously concerned without vaccine certification our health service and our economy remain at risk. It can’t be ignored that while revellers were out celebrating our hospital emergency departments were overflowing with people waiting for care.
“This app is a welcome step and it shows just how easy it would be to introduce mandatory vaccination certification across all our hospitality and entertainment businesses. While I’m sure many businesses will opt to avail of this app, they should not have had to make this decision, it should have been made by our ministers at Stormont to avoid confusion from one venue to the next and to ensure vital protection for our health service.
“The SDLP will continue to push for vaccine certification and our minister Nichola Mallon has made that view clear around the Executive table. It’s time Sinn Féin and the DUP realised there can be no half measures on such an important issue. We need to see an urgent decision on vaccine certification to protect the public, protect our businesses from the threat of closure and stop heaping further pressures on our health service.”