Video: Fallout from large weekend gatherings, local lockdowns 'still an option'

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Call for 'personal responsibility' after large weekend gatherings

The mayors of Dublin, Cork and Galway have called for members of the public to take personal responsibility following scenes of large crowds drinking outside at the weekend.

Lord mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu has said people cannot be told “not to gather”, but personal responsibility must be taken to observe social distancing.

“We have been advertising for an outdoor summer for quite a while, we’ve been telling people you’ll be able to enjoy the summer,” she told RTE’s Morning Ireland.

Local lockdowns 'still an option'

Local lockdowns may be used if there are spikes of Covid cases or localised concerns around the Indian variant of the disease, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said, as he expressed concern about large crowds gathering in Dublin on Saturday.

The Fine Gael leader said that while there have been “mixed results” to such lockdowns in the past, the Government is retaining the option to use them should they be needed in the coming months.

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“Local lockdowns to local restrictions are a policy option, they’re there in the Government’s plan. They are a policy option if we have an outbreak in a particular area. But we’ve had mixed results with them in the past unfortunately, the one in Kildare and the Midlands worked, others didn’t really,” he said.

Pandemic payments to be cut

The Government will seek to cut weekly Covid-19 welfare supports in four stages from as early as August as part of a plan to revive the economy as the impact of the pandemic dwindles.

The Cabinet will meet on Tuesday to agree a multibillion package aimed at stimulating economic activity and phasing out financial supports such as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which have both cost billions to date.

Sources said they expect a series of phased reductions in the payments to start in either August or September. The date for this is to be finalised today.

The weekly €350 PUP will likely be cut in three or four steps until it is at the same rate as basic social welfare payments. It is also likely to be closed off to new entrants from as early as September.

Kettles were the most recycled electrical object in Ireland last year

The European Recycling Platform (ERP), Ireland’s only pan-European compliance scheme for WEEE and Waste Batteries, today released figures highlighting an increase of electronic waste recycling during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overall, ERP Ireland identified a nine per cent increase in electronic waste recycling per person with over 5.6 million electrical items collected during 2020.

The figures highlight a 19 per cent increase in the recycling of large kitchen appliances including washing machines, ovens and dishwashers with an average 56 per cent jump in the recycling of these objects during April and May compared to the previous year.

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