Cabinet agreement for indoor dining
The Cabinet has agreed on new legislation which will allow those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or have recently recovered from the virus, to avail of indoor dining when the next stage of the sector's easing of restrictions goes ahead.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar confirmed the Digital Covid Cert, which is being used to facilitate the resumption of non-essential international travel among EU member states, will be accepted as proof of vaccination/recovery, while other "nationally certified" equivalents will be accepted for those outside the EU, including the UK and US.
Concerns had been raised following comments by Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin that GPs would be involved in the issuing of Covid 'recovery certs', however, Minister of State Ossain Smyth later clarified this is not the case, stating the certs would be issued by his department.
Further talks between the Government and hospitality sector representatives will take place today, with the reopening of the sector due to go ahead by July 26th at the latest.
The country is set to pass another major vaccination milestone, with 5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines expected to be given by the end of the week.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly hailed the vaccine rollout effort, adding Ireland has "some of the highest participation rates anywhere in Europe" among cohorts who have been offered the jab.
The vaccine registration portal is now open to everyone over the age of 30, with the next cohort (25-29) expected to be invited to register in the coming days. Anyone aged between 18-34 can also book an appointment with a participating pharmacy to receive a single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine.
EU travel certs
The EU Digital Travel Certificates have begun to be issued to those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, have recently recovered from the virus, or have a recent negative PCR test result.
The certs will enable people to travel within the EU without the need to quarantine, with restrictions on non-essential travel from the State due to ease on Monday, July 19th.
The certificates will arrive to those who are eligible by post or email.
National Maternity Hospital costs
The costs of the National Maternity Hospital are being examined by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
Ongoing issues regarding the ownership of the new site and disputes with contractors have caused "significant public concern" according to the chair of the PAC, Brian Stanley.
At a meeting of the PAC today, officials from the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) and the Department of Health again refused to disclose the latest total cost of the project, citing commercial sensitivity.
A man has been arrested after a woman was stabbed to death near Limavady, Co Derry.
Police said both the victim and the suspect (53) were holidaymakers, with officers receiving a report of the incident shortly after 8.20pm on Monday.
The woman was pronounced dead at the scene and the man was arrested on suspicion of her murder, and remains in custody.
Regional air routes
Ryanair has announced nine additional regional routes for Shannon and Knock airports.
Shannon will gain eight routes, seven of which will begin in time for the resumption of non-essential international travel on Monday, July 19th, while a service to Turin will begin this winter, targeting the ski-holiday market.
The Shannon routes include Faro and Lanzarote, as well as a new route to Corfu, while one additional destination is yet to be announced.
A new service between Knock and Milan-Bergamo was also announced, which is set to commence in November.