Video: Dining legislation passes, Delta variant symptoms, Cork rejuvenation

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Indoor dining legislation passed

Government legislation to allow for the resumption of indoor dining for those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from a Covid-19 infection was passed by the Dáil late last night.

After days of vehement criticism of the proposals by Opposition parties, which many said are "discriminatory", the Health Amendment No 2 Bill was passed by 74 votes to 68 votes.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly 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.

Although under 18s will be permitted to dine indoors provided they are accompanied by a Covid-immune adult, the country’s chief medical officer has advised that parents should not bring their children into indoor dining.

Delta variant symptoms

Unvaccinated people have been urged to stay vigilant against Covid-19 after the highest daily case total since February was recorded on Wednesday.

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In an update on the national coronavirus situation, the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) said the country is now in the early stages of exponential growth with the Delta variant, with incidences also beginning to rise in both partially and fully vaccinated cohorts.

Numbers are currently tracking the "pessimistic" scenario previously forecast by Nphet, the group said, and case counts will double every 15 to 30 days if nothing else changes.

GPs have identified a changing symptom profile associated with the Delta variant. The new variant is presenting for many in the form of a sore throat, nasal symptoms such as a runny or blocked nose, and a headache.

The deputy chief medical officer, Dr Ronan Glynn, has urged anyone experiencing such symptoms not to assume it is a cold or hay fever, but to immediately isolate and seek a test.

Meanwhile, Covid vaccine registration for an mRNA jab will open for people aged 25 to 29 on Friday, the Minister for Health has announced.

Covid travel certs

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 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.

Cork city rejuvenation

Cork City Council has revealed details of a €46 million rejuvenation plan for the Grand Parade area.

It is set for a major revamp with a focus on biodiversity, pedestrianisation and public space.

The project, due to get underway in 2022, also includes a state-of-the-art new city public library.

Musician stamps

An Post have revealed a new set of stamps, featuring world renowned Irish musicians.

The stamps celebrate artists who have all performed at the iconic Glastonbury Music and Arts Festival: Christy Moore, Sinead O'Connor, Hozier and Lisa Hannigan.

Some of the proceeds from the sale of the stamps, designed by Dublin-based company Shaughn McGrath Creative, will go to the Irish Music Industry Covid-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

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