'Day of hope'
Today has been described as a 'day of hope' for the hospitality sector as businesses around the country have welcomed the return of indoor dining.
From today, people who can provide proof of immunity, whether they are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered from Covid-19, are permitted to eat and drink indoors.
Industry representatives have expressed relief at the reopening, however, many are raising concerns regarding staff shortages.
Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association said the Government must now hold talks with representative groups to discuss how they can get people back to work.
Despite fears regarding the increased transmission of Covid due to the Delta variant, the Government is adamant schools will return in late August/early September.
Speaking today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said schools will have extra safety precautions in place, while Minister for Education Norma Foley said she has every confidence that a full reopening of schools will go ahead.
Teachers unions, the ASTI and TUI also said their members will return to work if it is in accordance with public health advice.
The Government has asked for more specific data relating to patients in hospital with Covid-19.
Officials have requested a breakdown of figures to illustrate how many patients with the virus in hospital are being treated as a result of their infection.
The HSE said the majority of patients in hospital with the virus are seriously ill with Covid.
According to the latest figures from the HSE, there are now 141 people with the virus in hospitals around the country, 25 of whom are in ICU.
A protest has been held outside the Department of Housing this afternoon, calling for action regarding the housing crisis.
Raise the Roof say low and average income workers are being "priced out of the market".
The number of people killed on roads in the Republic has dropped in the past six months, compared with the same period of 2020.
According to the latest figures, from January 1st-July 15th, 2021, 65 people died in 60 collisions.
This represents 12 per cent fewer collisions and 12 per cent fewer deaths compared to provisional garda data for the same period last year.