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'surprised' Professor Kingston Mills says it is a mistake to drop the use of Covid certs

He made his comments after all Covid-19 restrictions were scrapped from 6am on Saturday

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Professor Kingston Mills

Professor Kingston Mills

Professor Kingston Mills

Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity College Dublin Kingston Mills has said it is a mistake to drop the use of Covid certs.

It comes yesterday Taoiseach Michael Martin announced that almost all Covid-19 restrictions, including the use of Covid-19 passes across all domestic venues/activities, have been scrapped.

Speaking on RTE Radio One’s Saturday with Katie Hannon, Professor Mills said that while he is “delighted” about the easing of restrictions he is “surprised” by the pace at which restrictions have eased, particularly around Covid certs.

He is positive however that three doses of the vaccine, combined with previous infection, could give high level of immunity in the population

“We do know that vaccines are less effective against Omicron, but three doses of the vaccine are quite effective.”

He said however that Covid still remains a concern for unvaccinated people or those with underlying medical conditions.

“There's also the issue about people who have underlying medical conditions who might not respond so well to the vaccines and have been in the fear of their lives for the past two years, living cocooned, and these are the forgotten people in the latest measures,” he said.

“I estimate, and it's a rough estimate, that now half the population has been affected in Ireland, but the other half haven't.

“They're still going to have some benefit, some of them from vaccination, and others won't, so they are at risk of getting infected and they could end up in hospital, and if they have underlying conditions they could die from this infection.”

Professor Mills also discussed a newly emerging “variant of Investigation.”

“The other cloud on the horizon unfortunately is that in the last few days we've heard of a new variant emerging, called the BA2 in Denmark and in France and some other countries, so this is something that we have to be prepared for.”

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“It's not a variant of Omicron, however it is not a variant of concern yet, it is just a variant of investigation,” he explained.

“If we ease all restrictions now and don't prepare for something further, were going to be in trouble.

“It looks like it's more transmissible, because it's already become the dominant variant in Denmark… and it has been picked up in France and the UK, so I imagine it will become a significant variant in the future.”

From 6am on Saturday, limits on household visits, 8pm closing time for hospitality and events and social distancing measures were all revoked.

Capacity restrictions on both indoor and outdoor events were also ended.

From Monday, January 24, a return to the workplace on a phased basis can begin.

Requirements for mask-wearing on public transport and retail environments and protective measures in schools and early-learning and care facilities remain in place until February 28th.

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