Video: No need for ‘spiral of fear’ over Delta variant; digital travel cert could face delays

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Delta variant impact

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Delta variant is beginning to have an impact in Ireland, while the Government is worried as the number of cases and those presenting for testing had increased in the past week.

HSE chief Paul Reid said that the number of Covid-19 tests carried out on Monday was at its highest since January.

There are growing fears within Government that the spike in case numbers caused by Delta could lead to over 1,000 cases a day in less than two weeks.

However, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said an increase to 1,000 new cases a day would not be a reason to panic as the link between infections, hospital admissions and deaths has been significantly weakened. “We need to avoid getting back into a spiral of fear here,” he said.

Digital travel certificate

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Meanwhile, Mr Varadkar has acknowledged that there could be “teething problems” with the digital Covid travel certificate.

Speaking in an interview with RTÉ radio, the Tánaiste said there could be delays and a call centre will be available to deal with queries.

“Do your planning,” he advised anyone hoping to travel this summer, as they could be dealing with two sets of rules – in Ireland and in the country to which they are travelling.

Earlier, the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, said he expected plans for the travel certificate to go ahead as planned on July 19th.

Bray boxing club shooting

Boxing trainer Pete Taylor was “within touching distance” of a gunman when he was shot, spun 180 degrees and fell to the floor where he lay unable to move due to the pain, he has told the trial of a man accused of murder and his attempted murder.

Mr Taylor told the Central Criminal Court this morning that he felt one bullet “whizz” past his head as he ran towards the gunman who was standing in the doorway of the gym where Mr Taylor was taking an early morning fitness class.

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He also revealed that he complained to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) after his runners and tracksuit bottoms, containing between €200 and €400, were removed from him at the scene and never returned.

Cuckoo funds

The Taoiseach has faced calls to scrap an amendment to a Finance Bill that opposition parties say will incentivise “cuckoo funds” to swoop in and buy homes from first-time buyers.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is to introduce an amendment in the Dáil on Wednesday night which she said will afford cuckoo funds another tax break.

The Government said the measures will act as a deterrent to vulture funds and that any investor attempting to avoid them will be caught.

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