Video: EU travel begins, hospitality working group established, and changes to rent pressure zones

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EU digital Covid certificate

The EU's digital Covid certificate comes into effect today, aimed at facilitating non-essential travel among member states.

The cert will show whether passengers have been fully vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus, or have tested negative for the virus using a PCR test, allowing them to avoid quarantining on arrival.

The Government has been criticised for delaying the implementation of the system here, instead waiting until July 19th, with Ryanair chief executive Eddie Wilson saying the Government is doing "untold damage" to the economy, adding: "There is no justification for any further delays."

Hospitality

A working group has been established to examine how the hospitality sector could implement 'corona passes' and reopen following a meeting between the Government and sector representatives.

The meeting was held following the decision to delay to the reopening of indoor dining on July 5th, and the move to only allow fully vaccinated people, or those who have recently recovered from the virus, to eat indoors when restrictions are eased, which hospitality groups have labelled unworkable.

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Sinn Féin is calling for the use of antigen and PCR tests to enable the reopening of the sector, with Mary Lou McDonald saying it is wrong to "lock out younger people" when they have not yet been offered the opportunity to get vaccinated.

Rent pressure zones

The Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has confirmed the rent pressure zone scheme will be reformed, moving away from the 4 per cent annual cap in favour rates based on inflation. Mr O'Brien claims this will lead to smaller increases within the pressure zones.

If the Bill is passed, the measures are expected to take effect from July 9th.

The move follows Threshold’s Tenant Sentiment Survey 2021, which found just one quarter of private renters are renting by choice in Ireland. Over 55 per cent of respondents said they rent because they cannot afford to buy their own home, while a further 12 per cent said they rent because they cannot access social housing.

Leaving Cert 2022

Minister for Education Norma Foley will face questions in the Dáil later regarding next year's Leaving Certificate.

The Department of Education announced on Wednesday that there is no plan to retain the accredited grades option in 2022.

However, an additional sitting of the exams will be offered to students at a later date, as well as greater choice in the exam papers, acknowledging the disrupting and "loss of learning" the students faced during the last two academic years.

Ms Foley said: "Students going into their final year at Leaving Certificate have had a difficult year, and it is important that we acknowledge this."

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