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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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Get the gift of amazing skin this Christmas

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set. Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Treat your loved ones or yourself to a powerful professional skincare gift set.

Rarely can you, or should you, get by with using one single skincare product. For a well-rounded skincare routine you have to at least use a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturiser and SPF. Whether you already know your hyaluronic acids, vitamins or are a skincare newbie, a Sothys skincare product will make the perfect gift. They are beautifully packaged and have great offers, e.g. half price serums.

Gift set 1: Youthful Skin hydration duo; €115, with hyaluronic acid. It’s a cream and serum set.

This rich, protective cream is recommended for dry, ageing skin. The patented formula ensures maximum hydration by forming a protective film on the skin and delivering hyaluronic acid via a cosmetics patch over an eight hour period. This highly effective intensive rehydrating serum is used to provide an immediate source of deep hydration and a lasting restore moisture. The skin will look and feel regenerated and smothered with an increase of up to 60% hydration and a notable reduction of transepidermal water loss.

Gift set 2 : Wrinkle specific set €128 (saving €50 purchase the cream and receive the serum half price).

This helps to smooth fine lines and wrinkles maintaining the skin tone and preserve an even complexion.

Gift set 3: Radiance Eye cream €62 or cyro eye roll-on (receive two free express eye patches).

For wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness, the cream visibly combats everyday eye contour concerns that can leave eyes looking dull and tired. Containing peptides for anti-wrinkle action and active ingredients to protect from blue light and to increase radiance.

Gift set 4: Detox Energie €122 (saving €44.50)

This is an amazing set; detoxifying, anti-pollution, rebalancing the microbiome and helps boost intracellular energy, and the skin regains it vitality and looks younger.

These are a few beautifully presented gift sets of our cosmetical professional skincare line. You can order by calling in or over the phone. For more information call Jill on 064 6632966.

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Killorglin mother and son pen poetry book

By Michelle Crean What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son. The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just […]

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By Michelle Crean

What do roses, wrens, King Puck, fairies and Santa Claus have in common? Well, all now feature in a new children’s book co-written by a mother and son.

The new illustrated poetry collection for children, ‘A Very Kerry Year’, by Killorglin mother and son, Jacinta and Conor Browne, has been published just in time for Christmas.

And all proceeds will be donated to Comfort for Chemo, an organisation whose mission it is to build and equip a chemotherapy unit for the people of Kerry.

The charity is close to the young author’s heart as Conor himself was undergoing cancer treatment while writing this book.

With original poetry by the mother and son, the book also has another separate family connection as the talented illustrators are local artists, father-daughter duo Con and Rochelle Lucey, with each page awash with colour and beautiful drawings.

“I know first-hand how important it is to have a comfortable environment while receiving chemotherapy,” Conor said.

‘A Very Kerry Year’ is currently available for €12 from The Crystal Cave and the Reeks District Tourist Office in Killorglin and will soon be available in many more outlets throughout the county.

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