Video: Unvaccinated told to avoid All-Ireland final, Coveney defends Kabul decision

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Afghanistan evacuation

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said that having an Irish team on the ground in Kabul will maximise the opportunities to get Irish citizens out of Afghanistan and is “a risk worth taking”.

However, he said he did not want “to raise expectations unrealistically” as not all citizens may be evacuated from the country by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Independent TD Dr Cathal Berry, who is also a former second-in-command of the Irish Army’s Ranger wing, called for funding for autonomous aircraft for the Defence Forces.

It reflected badly that Ireland had to “hitchhike” around the world, he told RTÉ radio. It appeared as if Ireland was a “freeloader”, he said.

Covid latest

Sixteen pregnant women were admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 since the start of the year, health officials have said.

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The chief medical officer, speaking at a briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), indicated that it is too early to commit to any specific easing of restrictions, ahead of the Government publishing a road map next week.

Current high rates of Covid-19 in the Republic saw Dr Tony Holohan warn that anyone unvaccinated should consider avoiding large scale events, such as upcoming GAA matches in Croke Park.

Meanwhile, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said he expects the remaining Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted before Christmas. He said the Government would like to lift “all restrictions as quickly as possible” but that public health advice may mean some restrictions will have to be kept “for some time”.

Controversial GP

Dr Anne McCloskey, a former Aontú councillor and a GP from Derry, has been suspended by the North's Health and Social Care Board over comments she made about the Covid-19 vaccine.

In a video posted online on Sunday, she made a number of claims including that there is not enough evidence that it is safe for young people to be vaccinated.

In an interview with the BBC, Dr McCloskey said she stands by her comments.

Ryanair ends Belfast flights

Ryanair will no longer provide services from Belfast International Airport by the end of October, the airline has confirmed.

On Tuesday, Ryanair informed the airport it will cease flying to and from the destination in the coming months and will also end its seasonal routes from Belfast City Airport at the end of the summer.

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Proposals for full reopening of live events sector...
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A spokesperson for Belfast International Airport described the airline's decision as “disappointing”.

Events restrictions

Attempts by Minister for Arts Catherine Martin to ease restrictions for live entertainment will be met by stiff opposition by public health officials, and within Government, this week.

Ms Martin is looking for Cabinet backing for the go-ahead for indoor events for vaccinated people and the reopening of indoor arts, drama and dance classes in September.

However, according to The Irish Times, there is still “great reluctance” in Government to reopen live entertainment as Covid numbers rise.

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