Video: Government to consider Nphet advice, concerns over hospitality sector

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Government to consider Nphet advice

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the restrictions brought in two weeks ago and the “call to arms” to reduce social contacts and work from home has helped stabilise cases.

He made the comments ahead of a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), who will discuss the latest Covid-19 situation facing Ireland.

With only weeks to go until Christmas, health officials are meeting to discuss whether any new measures are needed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

New travel guidelines from Friday

From Friday, people arriving in Ireland from overseas who have been vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 will be required also to have a certified negative test.

Those travelling with an antigen test result will need to have obtained it within 48 hours of departure, and it will have to be professionally administered. No self-administered tests will be accepted, under rules agreed by Cabinet on Tuesday morning.

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Furthermore, the return of the mandatory hotel quarantine system has been debated in the Dáil on Thursday, with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly predicting that travel restrictions may not be enough to ward off the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Donnelly added that mandatory hotel quarantine will be needed for "a limited time".

Concerns over hospitality sector

The president of the Irish Hotels Federation, Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane, has called for the Employement Wage Subsidey Scheme (EWSS) to be retained at November levels amid ongoing concern over the impact Covid-19 is having on the hospitality sector.

This comes as Tánaiste told the Dáil on Thursday that the Government was waiting on the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) before making any decision on reviving financial support for struggling sectors.

According to Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane, president of the Irish Hotels Federation, across the hotel and guest house sector since the end of November, and looking forward to January 10th - €92 million in cancellations has been recorded.

Covid numbers in right direction

HSE chief Paul Reid has said Covid-19 case numbers and hospitalisations are tracking in the right direction.

However, there are fears the emergence of the new variant could put further pressures on the system.

Meanwhile, falling cases of Covid-19 among the elderly population who have had their third vaccine dose is a “cause for hope”, a HSE briefing has heard.

Chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said there has also been a “sharp drop” in hospital admissions among the older age groups who have received the booster jab.

Dogs rescued in Dublin

Gardaí from Tallaght Garda Station and the DSPCA seized 38 dogs following searches of two apartments in Citywest.

The seizure was part of a multi-agency operation by gardaí, the DSPCA and South Dublin County Council's dog warden.

Other animals recovered from the premises included cats, parrots, tarantulas, a snake, a scorpion and a millipede. All animals found at the apartment have been taken to the DSPCA for veterinary treatment.

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