Rapid antigen testing to be trialled at four universities
A pilot scheme of rapid Covid antigen testing has been introduced in four colleges across Ireland with the aim of preventing the spread of the disease in educational settings.
UniCov is conducting a large-scale analysis of rapid testing technologies to support students returning to campus.
The scheme began on Monday at NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin and University College Cork.
Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris said thousands of students and staff were expected to participate in the study. “If proven through piloting and feasibility, the benefits of rapid testing could be a significant additional tool in our fight against Covid-19,” he said.
Arlene Foster resigns as Northern Ireland First Minister
Northern Ireland will only move forward when the region’s differing identities are respected by all, resigning First Minister Arlene Foster has said.
Making her resignation speech to the Assembly chamber, the ousted DUP leader said her time as First Minister may have ended “abruptly” but she vowed to pursue “unfinished business” in championing Northern Ireland in other ways.
Mrs Foster, who acknowledged she had not always made the right calls, became emotional as she closed her speech with an appeal for MLAs to act as “good neighbours”.
Assembly colleagues applauded as Mrs Foster ended her speech with the line “over and out”.
During her speech she addressed the row over the Irish language that threatens to destabilise the powersharing administration in the wake of her resignation.
“Let us realise in every corner of this House, that people live here who have an Irish identity, a British identity, some have a British and Irish identity, some are British and Northern Irish and there are new emerging identities, but for all of us this place is called home,” Mrs Foster told MLAs.
Ireland 'running out of time' to stop Delta variant surge
A University College Cork professor has urged the Government to consider hotel quarantine for travellers from Britain.
Prof Gerry Kileen, co-founder of Independent Scientific Advocacy Group which supports Zero Covid policies, said hotel quarantine needs to be considered as the Delta variant makes up about 90 per cent of new Covid cases in the UK.
Currently travellers from Britain must self-quarantine but can move freely once they obtain a negative Covid-19 test no less than five days after arrival. The Government may increase the self-quarantine period to 10 days.
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is now the dominant strain in Britain and is proving to be 60 per cent more transmissible than the previously dominant Alpha strain.
Prof Kileen told Newstalk radio: “What we really need is consistent and carefully managed quarantine, which means unfortunately in a hotel, really something that's been urgently needed for a long time.”
Face mask case
A grandmother who told gardaí that she didn't believe in the Covid-19 restrictions has pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to wear a mask whilst shopping in West Cork.
Last month Margaret Buttimer (66) received a suspended sentence and a fine for her refusal to wear masks in shops.
Prior to sentencing for her previous conviction she was jailed for the weekend as she had declined to wear a mask in the body of the court.
Today at Bandon District Court Ms Buttimer, who has an address at The Cottage, St Fintan's Road in Bandon, pleaded guilty to breaching the Health Act by refusing to wear a mask in Boots Store and an Aldi supermarket last month.