Nursing home visits will resume from March 22nd.
Under new guidelines, they’ll be allowed to receive two visits every week, under compassionate grounds.
The new advice will apply to nursing homes where there’s high vaccine coverage.
Sage Advocacy Executive Director, Sarah Lennon says the reinstation of visits is good for residents’ mental health.
While Irish Senior Citizens Parliament CEO, Sue Shaw says it’s been a hard time for those living in nursing homes.
Twice as many people are going to workplaces now, compared with the first wave of the pandemic.
It comes as 10 more deaths have been recorded while 592 new cases of Covid-19 were reported by the Department of Health, five in Carlow with up to four in Kilkenny.
Public health officials say the fall in the number of new daily cases has started to slow.
Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs NPHET’s modelling group, says this is partially due to more people going to offices.
Local Electoral Areas
Five local electoral areas have a 14-day Covid-19 incidence rate which is more than two-and-a-half times the national average.
The figures were recorded on Monday when the national rate was just over 161 cases per 100,000 people.
Longford LEA had the highest rate at 567.
We’re faring better in the seven LEAs across Carlow and Kilkenny.
Bagenalstown had the highest in the two counties at 230.3 followed by Tullow (112.6) then Piltown (93.7), Castlecomer (89.1), Carlow Town (79.5), Kilkenny City (55.3) with Callan Thomastown again the lowest at 35.5.
Ireland is expected to get 600,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccine between April and June.
The one-shot dose can be stored in regular fridges, which is expected to make its roll-out easier.
It was approved by the European Medicines Agency yesterday.
Meanwhile, a trial shows a Covid-19 vaccine, made by US firm Novavax, is 96% effective against the original strain of the disease.
It also offers about 86% protection against the UK variant.
The results are broadly in line with interim data released in January.
The message to people in Wales is switching from “stay at home” to “stay local” as Covid-19 restrictions are relaxed.
Over the weekend, four people from two households can meet outdoors, while rules on care home visits and outdoor sporting venues are eased.
From Monday, hairdressers and barbers can resume services, while the re-opening of other non-essential retail will be phased in.
On the same day, more students will be returning to school.
In the US
Joe Biden says all US adults will be eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine by the start of May.
In his first primetime address to the nation as president, he said his goal was to get the country “closer to normal” by the 4th of July.
Mr Biden says it’s so Americans can celebrate Independence Day with their loved ones.
But he also pleaded with the nation to help in the fight against the virus.