Video: Children indoor dining, fourth Covid wave, international travel

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Children indoor dining

People should “exercise their own judgment” about taking children with them to indoor hospitality settings, the Taoiseach has said.

The Government has passed legislation allowing vaccinated people or those who have recovered from Covid-19 to take their unvaccinated children inside pubs and restaurants.

However, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned the public that it is “safer” not to do so, even though it is allowed by law, and urged people to wait until higher levels of the population have been vaccinated.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has meanwhile defended the legislation against the allegations of discrimination in the Dáil, saying the European Union already differentiates between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in international travel.

Fourth Covid wave begins

A further 994 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic this evening.

Earlier today, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the number of new cases would be around 1,000 - the first time such a number has been recorded since February. Mr Reid said the HSE was on a higher alert as infections and hospital numbers continue to rise.

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Meanwhile, more than 1,000 further Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland today, the highest figure seen in six months.

The Tánaiste has warned of how dangerous a fourth wave of the disease could be amid growing concern over the Delta variant, which now accounts for 80 per cent of new cases.

Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that those who are unvaccinated are now the most vulnerable and over the next few weeks are "at greater risk than ever before in this pandemic, because this virus is so transmissible."

International travel

Final preparations are taking place in airports after more than one million Covid digital green certificates for travel have been issued to those who are fully vaccinated.

However, some people who have received the digital Covid certificate have said their Irish names appeared corrupted, with no síneadh fada.

The cost of rolling out the Covid digital green certificates to the state is already “substantial”, an Oireachtas committee has heard.

The system comes after the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) highlighted the impact of travel on case numbers in the Republic over the past fortnight, with 626 travel-related infections identified.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has suggested that the digital certs, which may also play a role in the Government’s system of access to indoor dining, could also be used to reopen the live music, arts, leisure and entertainment sectors.

Courts latest

In the courts, a company which rents luxury properties on behalf of landlords — including one from singer Bob Geldof — is to be wound up by order of the High Court.

Meanwhile, a doctor has told the Special Criminal Court that Quinn Industrial Holdings director Kevin Lunney was still in pain, scarred and fearful of going out in public more than one month after he was abducted and assaulted.

Separately, a mother-of-two who stabbed a man in the arm with scissors and later produced a knife during an attempted robbery has been jailed for four years.

Finally, the first case over the leaking of medical information as part of the cyberattack on the HSE's IT systems has been lodged at Cork Circuit Court.

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