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Latest update on easing the country’s restrictions announced




Government this afternoon (Tuesday) announced the latest in the country's reopening plans including that the remaining aspects of the hospitality, entertainment and night-time economy sector can reopen with a full range of protective measures in place.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that "over the course of the last two weeks we have seen a worsening of the situation" and that the number of new infections, people requiring hospital admissions and people in ICU "have all increased", and that the "figures are a cause for concern".

"They are also a timely reminder of how dangerous this virus remains and the need for ongoing vigilance."

He said based on NPHET's recommendations the sectors due to reopen this Friday (October 22) "may now do so" on the basis that "customers produce their proof of vaccine and identity. 

He announced the following changes:

* a requirement for EU Digital COVID Certificate (COVID-19 pass) (vaccine or recovery certificate) for indoor hospitality and events
* social distancing to continue as a precaution
* that face masks continue to be worn which can be removed for consumption of food or drinks
* table service only in hospitality settings with a maximum of 10 adults per table, and max 15 including children
* collection of contact tracing data to remain in place
* for indoor live music, drama, live entertainment and sporting events audience/spectators should be fully seated (standing permitted at your seat)
* specific sectoral guidance will be developed for nightclubs setting out appropriate protective measures. This will involve COVID-19 passes, contact tracing data collection and wearing of face masks except when eating, drinking and dancing
* COVID-19 passes and fixed capacity limits will not apply for outdoor events. However, sectors should ensure appropriate protective measures are in place
* organisers of indoor and outdoor group activities should ensure that appropriate protective measures are in place, and where indoor groups have a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people indoors, pods of six should apply. Fixed capacity limits will not apply to these indoor and outdoor group activities
* religious services and weddings can proceed without capacity limits but with all other protective measures remaining in place
* return to workplaces will continue on a phased and cautious basis for specific business requirements

Other recommendations include that a booster dose of Comirnaty® (Pfizer) vaccine be offered to all those aged 60 to 79 years.

That the HSE should implement a programme of COVID-19 antigen testing for people who are identified as fully vaccinated close contacts of a confirmed case and who do not have any symptoms.

The current enhanced illness benefit payment of €350 a week for COVID-19 will remain in place for employees and self-employed people who test positive with the virus.

Pre-boarding obligations placed on travellers to provide evidence of a valid PCR test result, unless exempt (such as vaccinated or recovered or children under 12) continue.

The mandatory hotel and home quarantine system is no longer considered necessary and will be wound down.

He finished by saying that "the changes to the plan we have made today gives us the space to ensure that the next steps towards normality that we take are safe and sustainable".  

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Jessie Buckley to perform live on RTE this Friday 22nd September



This Culture Night, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh will present an hour-long live music and arts programme from Dún Lúiche in the heart of the Donegal Gaeltacht at 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player.  

Actress and singer Jessie Buckley has been added to the list of stellar musicians who will perform with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra on the night. Jessie will perform a special rendition of a Sinéad O’Connor song in tribute to the late artist. 

Jessie commented: “I am very honoured to return to Culture Night 2023 to remember Sinéad O Connor with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Sinéad was such a huge influence on so many women in Ireland and across the world, her courage, her mind, her politics and her intense beauty and soul. She was a warrior to humanity. I remember hearing her for the first time and feeling her uncompromising need to connect and affect. Recognising what couldn’t be said and speaking it out loud. I am so grateful for all her fire and all her love. It is such a privilege to return to Ireland for RTÉ Culture Night in Donegal to sing a song of gratitude for Sinéad and her family and friends.” 

Other artists performing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra include The Murder Capital, R&B singer and 2FM Rising star Aby Coulibaly and Irish-based Ukrainian musician Olesya Zdorovetska.  

Friday 22nd September, 7pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player 

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N22 Killarney to Faranfore road further delayed

The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again. Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project […]




The revealing of the preferred route corridor for the construction of the new Killarney to Farranfore road has been delayed – again.

Four potential routes for the N22 Farranfore-Killarney project were identified and were put out to public consultation in May 2021. These have now been whittled down to just one.

It was previously promised that the preferred route would be published late last year.

This dragged on in to the Spring and there is still no sigh of the preferred route being revealed.

A recent Kerry County Council meeting a council official explained that there are further funding requirements to allow the council complete various reports and investigations required before the road can move to its next phase.

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