Video: Reopening delay, staycation weather and courts latest

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Reopening delay

An additional 305 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the Republic, while there are 49 coronavirus patients in hospital and 16 in intensive care.

A delay to the resumption of indoor dining at pubs and restaurants is “not inevitable”, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said.

An announcement on the reopening of indoor dining, which had been due to take place on July 5th, is expected to be made tomorrow, with the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) meeting today.

Indoor hospitality returning amid the spread of Delta variant and with much of the population unvaccinated risks superspreader events, according to the HSE’s director of public health for the South East.

Meanwhile, infectious disease expert Professor Sam McConkey said he would like to see a cautious reopening of the hospitality sector — saying the question was how much risk and how many deaths were people willing to accept.

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There could be 200,000 to 400,000 Delta cases with a mortality rate of one per thousand going on the modelling figures, he said, which would mean 200 to 400 deaths. What was the benchmark for acceptable risk, he asked.

Staycation weather

People are being urged to take care on the roads, ahead of a busy staycation season this summer.

Ireland is set to bask in Mediterranean-like weather this week with temperatures forecast to reach 25 degrees.

Warm, dry and sunny conditions are forecast nationally until Friday.

Courts latest

A convicted killer who stabbed his father to death in his home, where he "should have felt safe", has been jailed for 12 years by a judge at the Central Criminal Court.

Meanwhile, the widow of a Welsh man who died while attending a stag weekend in Galway has settled a High Court action for €250,000.

Separately, an EU citizen living and working in the Republic is seeking to challenge Covid-19 public health regulations, under which a €2,000 fixed penalty notice was issued to him after he travelled to Portugal to help renew his family’s permission to remain there.

Finally, a Limerick man who almost caused a massive explosion that could have killed him has lost his appeal against the severity of a five-year jail sentence, imposed for his attempt to blow up an ATM at a filling station in Cork last year.

Vaccine guidance

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A change in guidance on using the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson jabs in younger age cohorts will help speed up the vaccination programme, according to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) is expected to meet today to consider the use of both the vaccines for younger people, amid the spread of the Delta variant.

Currently, they are not recommended for use in people under 50 due to concerns regarding rare instances of blood clotting linked to the jabs.

There is no question that the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine should be given to young people, according to immunologist Professor Luke O’Neill.

Other experts have said their preference is that the State stick with the current policy of vaccinating younger people with mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, if they are available.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said this morning that the country will shortly be in the position of having excess AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines “but no arms to put them in”.

'Frenzied' housing market

House prices in Ireland are now 13 per cent higher than they were one year ago, driven by very weak supply and sky-rocketing demand, according to two separate reports published on Monday.

The latest quarterly house price report from MyHome.ie found that annual asking price inflation rose by 13 per cent nationwide – 10.6 per cent in Dublin and by 13.6 per cent elsewhere around the country.

A report from property site Daft.ie found the national average house price is now €284,000, 13 per cent higher than last year and an increase of €34,000.

Meanwhile, a survey by the Real Estate Alliance (REA) has found that the price of an average home in Dublin has risen by €1,500 a week since the end of March.

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