The return of crowds to sports stadiums using vaccine certificates to ensure Covid safety is among proposals being considered by Government, Prime Time has learned.

Ireland has opted into European plans for citizens to have access to a digital vaccination certificate and a working group at the Department of the Taoiseach is devising proposals on how the certificates will be used.

According to a Government source, a return to spectator sports is among the potential vaccine 'bonuses' that fully vaccinated people may have. 

Though the return of live music events is considered more complicated, the outcome of recent live outdoor gigs in Israel is being watched closely.

The working group is also examining what health experts have allowed in other jurisdictions in respect of travel, meeting people and engaging in indoor activities. 

The GAA is hoping to have some spectators at the men's All-Ireland finals, which will be held in August, according to sources. 

The IRFU, FAI and GAA are working together on wider proposals to allow fans to return to stands which may also include the use of antigen testing of supporters. 

While our streets are largely empty, the British government has already announced plans to test the use of vaccine certificates. 

Some 21,000 fans will attend the FA Cup final in May as part of a series of pilot events. 

The potential use of vaccine certificates at sports events could pave the way for their use to be expanded to other sectors.

Ger Kiely, the owner of Cork music venue Cyprus Avenue, told Prime Time that the return of live gigs being dependent on vaccine certificates was "better than nothing".

"If they say we can only have people age 40 and up or whatever, with a vaccine passport, or proof they’ve been vaccinated ... then yes we are very happy to do that," he said.

Civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the use of vaccine certificates, particularly if they become mandatory at music and arts events.