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Latest update on easing the country’s restrictions announced

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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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New free local fitness group to motivate people back to health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness  Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness
 

Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a free health and fitness group. 

Our primary vehicle is our gym but we do a lot of other stuff, too, like:

* Train kids how to exercise in schools
* Helping frontline workers with their mindset
* Supporting local fitness events and teams
* Running fun social events in the community
* Raise funds for local charities

We’ve won awards for this stuff, but the real reward is moving the Killarney community back towards health. So today, I’m thrilled to share a free Facebook group: ‘Fitness, Nutrition & Health in Killarney’ with you.
Visit this link to join: www.facebook.com/groups/fitnessinkillarney.

In that group, we’ll share helpful posts, tips, and support for everyone, whether you exercise at Activate or not. We’re also welcoming other health and fitness practitioners to join the group and help people find valuable and sensible advice around health and fitness.

When you join, Facebook will ask you a few questions, then my team will be around to support you and give you stuff to help.

If you have questions about fitness, health, longevity, nutrition, or exercise, go ahead and ask! If you have answers, please share! Let’s get some positive momentum going in Killarney!

What’s the deal with motivation?

I was having a discussion with a new client the other day and it came up that they sometimes feel a lack of motivation to keep working out. I know many of you feel like this sometimes, so I thought I would write about it today.

I really believe in discipline, as motivation is fleeting – but we’ll address this anyway. There are a few things that you can do to fool-proof the system. Here’s five ways.

1. Find an accountability partner:

When it comes to working out, having someone to hold you accountable can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a fitness coach, knowing that someone is counting on you to show up for your workout can help you stay on track.

2. Set realistic goals:

Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated, but it’s important to make sure they are realistic. If your goal is too lofty, you may find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like. However, if your goals are achievable and realistic, you’ll be more likely to stick with your workout plan and see the results you want.

3. Find a workout routine you enjoy:

If you dread your workouts, it’s going to be very difficult to stay motivated. However, if you find an exercise routine that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. There are so many different types of workouts out there, so take some time to experiment and find one that fits your needs and interests. I feel a key facet many of us in the health and fitness industry miss regularly is making sure people are always engaged and challenged, so it remains fun to work out!

4. Reward yourself:

This one sounds a little weird, but for some, it can really work. One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself after setting a goal and reaching it. Whether it’s your favourite snack or a new piece of workout gear, treating yourself to something special can help keep you on track.

5. Get enough sleep:

This is the one thing we all hear that’s drilled into our brains – but for good reason! It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy for your workouts and you’ll be less likely to skip them. So make sure to get plenty of rest each night!

Following these tips can help you stay motivated to workout, even when it feels like a struggle. Just remember to be patient, set realistic goals, and find an exercise routine that you enjoy. With a little effort, you can reach your fitness goals in no time!
 

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Irish food only for Lisa’s September challenge

Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself. Artist and food activist […]

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Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself.

Artist and food activist Lisa Fingleton plans the unusual action as she will eat only food grown in Ireland for the entire month.

That means no sugar, lemons, olive oil, or coffee with the challenge designed to highlight issues with Irish food security.

In the seven years since Lisa founded the 30-Day Local Food Challenge, food supply chains have been hit by a succession of market shocks highlighting Lisa’s concerns with increasing urgency.

From seed shortages caused by Brexit to the global market shock of COVID-19 to potential shortages caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, to the recent conversation about the need to reduce the Irish National Herd in line with carbon emissions targets, Lisa says there has never been a more important time to talk about Irish food security.

“This year in particular in Europe we are seeing the impact of war on food and the global reliance on Ukraine as an important wheat producer,” said the former Kerry County Council Artist in Residence who lives in Ballybunion.

“This has shown us more than ever just how fragile our food systems are. We need to focus on building sustainable and resilient food systems on the island of Ireland. This year we are encouraging people to do one local meal a day so they can make it really simple and have Irish porridge for breakfast or really elaborate with a meal grown in your own garden.”

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