Responsibility for ensuring that only permitted persons access relevant indoor premises rests with the indoor operator who must satisfy themselves that any person seeking to enter a relevant indoor premises is a permitted person. This is provided for in Section 31AB(3)(a) of the Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2021 which requires indoor operators to take “reasonable steps (including by inspecting such documents, if any, as may be prescribed in regulations under subsection (4)) to ensure that a person other than a permitted person is not admitted to a relevant indoor premises”.
The Health Act 1947 (Sections 31AB and 31AD) (Covid-19) (Operation of certain indoor premises) Regulations 2021 (S.I. No. 385 of 2021) provide that “an indoor operator may, for the purposes of establishing that a person seeking to enter a relevant indoor premises is, or a child accompanying the person is, a permitted person, in accordance with section 31AB(4)(d)(ii) of the Act of 1947, request the following information or proof:
(a) For the purposes of paragraph (a) of the definition of “permitted person” in section 2 of the Health Act, 1947, proof of immunity together with a proof of identity which enables the operator to satisfy himself or herself that the proof of immunity relates to that person;”
Taking the above into consideration, the indoor operator is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that only permitted persons are allowed access relevant indoor premises. S.I. No. 385 of 2021 provides indoor operators with the authority to request proof of identity to enable them to satisfy themselves that the proof of immunity relates to the person proffering it.
If the indoor operator can satisfy themselves that the proof of immunity relates to the person proffering it without recourse to proof of identification (for example in the case of a regular customer whose identity is known, or a person who had already been in the restaurant and stepped out momentarily), then proof of identity need not be requested. Accordingly, it is at the discretion of the indoor operator in question to ask but only if they do not need proof of identity to satisfy themselves that the proof of immunity relates to the person proffering it.