The government is strongly considering telling people not to travel to Northern Ireland from next week, due to the region’s Covid-19 crisis.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told his party colleagues last night the measure may be introduced, but no final decision has been made.
The cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will meet this evening to finalise plans to exit level five next week, ahead of an announcement tomorrow.
It’s believed shops, gyms and hairdressers will be the first to reopen, with restaurants and hotels expected to follow.
Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane, the president of the Irish Hotels Federation, says it will be ‘catastrophic’ if hotels aren’t allowed to fully reopen next week. While you can read what one local salon owner had to say here.
Former HSE director-general Tony O’Brien lives in Co Louth and says the government would be right to advise against travel to the North.
It’s as six more deaths were confirmed in the Republic last night with 269 new cases
The 14-day incidence rate for the disease has dropped to 105 per 100,000 people.
On the same day last week, it was 119.
The Health and Safety Authority is carrying out an average of 60% less Covid-19 inspections and investigations compared to the summer.
Between the middle of May and the end of July there were 2,648 Covid-19 related inspections and investigations carried out by the HSA, at an average of 39 per day.
However, since the end of July, just 1,832 checks were carried out by the watchdog – with a daily average of 15.
Figures also show, in January the HSA had 105 inspectors – however at the end of August only four had been added – despite calls for increased workplace inspections after it emerged there were a number of outbreaks at meat plants and other settings.
Solidarity/People Before Profit TD Brid Smith says the number of inspections is very concerning.
The Department of Business has said over 20,000 Covid-19 compliance checks have been carried out by various Government Departments and bodies since May.
Ireland has signed up for advanced purchase orders for more than 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
The government’s bidding for doses through the EU system and now has capacity on pre-order to comfortably provide enough vaccine for the entire country.
The European Commission has agreed to purchase orders with five vaccine trials – and is in negotiations with a sixth in Moderna.
While 10 million doses may be available, some vaccines, like the one from Pfizer, require a double dose and so the actual number of people who can be inoculated will be smaller.
However, a spokesperson for the Department of Health said they expect to have sufficient supplies of vaccine when they become available.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is coming out of self-isolation today – two weeks after a meeting with an MP who tested positive for coronavirus.
He’s had to take part in parliamentary debates and news conferences via video-link from his Downing Street office.
As he went into quarantine, he said he was feeling fine and didn’t have any symptoms.