Video: Restaurants await indoor dining guidelines; final day of heatwave

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Restaurants still waiting

The chief executive of the Restaurants Association has said his sector needs to see guidelines on indoor dining in “black and white” today, amid a delay over their publication.

Adrian Cummins said the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) will meet with Government officials this afternoon to see the details for the reopening of indoor dining on Monday.

Fáilte Ireland and Government officials met this morning to finalise the guidelines, which were expected to be published yesterday.

Housing plan delay

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has said the Government's Housing for All plan is “nearly there” but five per cent “still needs to be worked through.”

The plan, which will determine the State’s housing policy until 2030, was due to be published next Tuesday, but is now not likely to be launched until late August or early September.

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“To be fair, no one is delaying the plan,” he told RTÉ. “It's an important plan, for the sake of a few weeks, it’s important that we get it done right.”

Drowning deaths

A teenage boy has died following the fifth drowning incident in Ireland this week.

The 15-year-old got into difficulty in Lough Sheelin, which borders Cavan, Westmeath and Meath, on Tuesday. He was rescued and taken to hospital in Dublin, but was pronounced dead on Thursday evening.

It follows separate drowning incidents in Cavan and Leitrim this week, along with two further incidents in the North.

Vaccination progress

Almost 70 per cent of people aged in their 20s have registered for a Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland, according to the HSE’s head of the vaccination programme.

Damien McCallion said the country had one of the highest take-up rates in Europe in a number of age groups, with 67 per cent of 20 to 29-year-olds already vaccinated or registered for their vaccine.

Meanwhile, Prof Philip Nolan, the chair of Nphet’s modelling advisory group, said some who have received their Covid-19 vaccine in Ireland are now “inappropriately feeling bulletproof.” He said that while the vaccine offered protection, the virus could still be transmitted.

And Dr Colm Henry, the HSE's chief clinical officer, raised the prospect of mass vaccination of children in Ireland by suggesting nine out of 10 people will need to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity against Covid-19.

Ulster Bank sales

Britain's NatWest Group agreed to sell assets from its Irish arm to Permanent TSB (PTSB), a move the mortgage lender and analysts described as a “once in a generation opportunity” for PTSB to compete with Ireland's two dominant banks.

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The deal includes 25 Ulster Bank branches and €7.6 billion of gross performing loans, the majority relating to non-tracker mortgages, as well as performing micro-SME loans and Ulster Bank's asset finance business, the group said on Friday.

Last day of heatwave

The final full day of Ireland's current heatwave is set to bring temperatures close to 30 degrees once more, along with thunderstorms later in the day.

A status orange warning for high temperatures exceeding 30 degrees ran out for Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford, Westmeath at 9am this morning.

A status yellow warning for temperatures between 27 and 30 degrees, in place for the whole of the country, will meanwhile remain in place until 9am tomorrow after it was extended.

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