Video: Reopening announcement, vaccine supply issues, Blanchardstown shooting

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Easing of restrictions

With the return of non-essential retail and close contact services like hairdressers and beauty salons, an air of normality is slowly starting to return.

A Government announcement on the further easing of restrictions is expected this evening.

Another big step in the reopening of the economy will take place next month, with accommodation services reopening on June 2nd, followed by the resumption of outdoor dining on June 7th.

Indoor dining at pubs and restaurants is expected to return on July 5th.

Vaccine delays

Delays to the Covid-19 vaccine programme will not impact Ireland's reopening, but could slow down a return to international travel.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told RTÉ Radio that delays in deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines will be felt more for inward and outward international tourism than it would for Irish businesses reopening.

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He said the Government's target of vaccinating 80 per cent of adults with a first dose was now somewhere in the mid-70s, with more than 60 per cent of the adult population fully vaccinated by mid-July.

Mr Varadkar said that while the rollout is behind, it is not substantial enough to change the course of the reopening plan.

The Government will today announce the return of crowds at matches, open air concerts, and other outdoor events as part of a grand reopening of the country from June 7th.

Shoot-out accused remanded in custody

A 38-year-old man arrested after two Garda detectives were injured in a shooting in Dublin on Tuesday evening has been remanded in custody.

Daniel Goulding, who has been receiving psychiatric treatment for several years, was arrested following an exchange of gunfire and a two-hour siege at his family home at Whitechapel Grove, Clonsilla, Dublin 15.

The detectives were shot in the foot, one was wounded in the hand, and members of the public were exposed to the incident.

Mr Goulding did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody for one week after he appeared before Judge Gerard Jones at Blanchardstown District Court charged with five firearms offences.

Judge Jones noted there will be an objection to bail, but defence solicitor Tony Collier said an application was not being made at this stage.

Government asked to lift mandatory hotel quarantine

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The EU Commission said it is in discussions with Irish authorities about lifting its quarantine measures for travellers arriving from EU countries.

Didier Reynders, EU Commissioner for Justice, said the Commission is “closely monitoring” the State’s quarantine rules.

Last month, the Commission wrote a letter to the Government asking it to set out the criteria used to determine which countries go on the quarantine list.

A Commission spokesperson said it had concerns about the system’s “proportionality and non-discrimination”.

Chief justice nomination

The Government is expected to announce the nomination of Supreme Court judge Donal O’Donnell to be the next chief justice.

The position is the State's highest judicial post.

Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys brought Mr Justice O’Donnell’s name to today’s Cabinet meeting following consultations witht the three coalition party leaders and Attorney General Paul Gallagher, ministers approved the nomination according to The Irish Times.

He will succeed the current Chief Justice Frank Clarke in the autumn when Mr Justice Clarke reaches retirement age.

Concerns around Indian Covid variant

A public health expert has expressed concerns about the prevalence of the Indian Covid-19 variant in the UK as Ireland prepares to ease restrictions and return to international travel.

There were 72 cases of the variant in the Republic last week, but that figure may well be higher as the HSE cyberattack has had an impact on Covid figures.

Professor Ivan Perry, a public health, health at University College Cork, told breakingnews.ie: “We’re in a situation where we’re talking about opening up and what’s in the UK today is in Ireland tomorrow with travel. Opening up at a time when the reproductive rate is hovering around 1 and 1.1 and as we all know, any time when this is even a small bit above one you’re getting into exponential growth again. We’re still in a situation where no more than a quarter of the population are effectively vaccinated in terms of being two weeks after their second dose

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