Tens of thousands of recovered Covid patients may not qualify for the EU's new international travel pass due to confusion over eligibility rules.
The EU Digital Green Certificate is set to launch in Ireland on July 19 and will allow people to travel if they are fully vaccinated, present a negative test or if they have fully recovered from the virus.
The Government previously said patients diagnosed in the last nine months would qualify, but it has now emerged that the window is actually just short of six months.
A spokesperson has confirmed recovered patients will only be eligible if they were diagnosed in the past 180 days, not the nine months it originally announced.
It means around 128,500 people who picked up the virus between late October and the end of January will no longer qualify when the pass is launched.
Meanwhile, the chair of the Irish Medical Organisation's GP committee said the Government should not rely on the number of hospitalisations associated with Covid-19 when making decisions about easing restrictions next week.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said hospital figures will be a key factor in decisions, but Dr Denis McCauley says the variant may not lead to increased admissions.
"The numbers of cases will probably increase," Dr McCauley told Newstalk.
"Now when that does happen, I don't think it's automatic that there will be a significant increase in the amount of hospitalisations, I think that the conversion of Covid positivity to hospital has dropped dramatically because of the vaccination of some of the more vulnerable groups."
The Cabinet is to decide on Thursday whether it will give the green light for the further opening of society in July, amid fears around the Delta variant.
The strain now accounts for a fifth of new Covid cases here.