Video: Covid supports announced, Omicron increasing among young people

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Business supports

The Government has announced a range of new supports for businesses following the introduction of tightened Covid-19 restrictions for the coming weeks.

As a result of the new measures, designed to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, the Government plans to spend around €200 million on business and employer supports in January alone.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) has re-opened for new applicants in the hospitality and arts sectors.

He also confirmed the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) will be available to all hospitality businesses that have made the decision to close their doors, rather than stay open, due to the new restrictions.

Omicron

The first signs of the impact of the Omicron variant have emerged with infection rising rapidly among younger people in the last week, one of the State’s top public health officials has said.

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Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs the epidemiological modelling group advising the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), said figures from the past seven days – and more specifically the weekend – were the “first real sign of the impact of Omicron”.

As The Irish Times reports, incidence in those aged 19-34 has increased by between 50 and 70 per cent in the course of the last seven days, according to Professor Nolan “increasing sharply over the weekend [while] test positivity in this age group exceeds 20 per cent”.

Kevin Sheehy murder

The mother of Irish boxing champion Kevin Sheehy has said that his child, who was born after her father was brutally murdered, "will grow up knowing her daddy was a hero".

Tracey Tully, whose son Kevin was repeatedly run over by a jeep driven by UK man Logan Jackson, told the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday: "Logan Jackson has two and a half years done of his time, so that will come off his sentence. But so do I. I have two-and-a-half years done also. But I don't get out."

The testimony was heard as part of an emotional victim impact statement read on Tuesday to the Central Criminal Court, where 31-year-old Jackson was sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murdering Mr Sheehy.

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