Video: Schools return, Covid cert updates, Golfgate trial begins

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Schools reopen

Schools reopened on Thursday morning amid warnings that Covid-19 will keep thousands of teachers at home in the days to come.

Earlier this week, public health officals told school managers and unions that it is safe to return to the classroom, despite high case numbers.

Concerns remain among teachers’ unions, which are calling for increased protective measures for staff and students to be implemented.

Digital Covid Certs

Updated Digital Covid Certs are to be sent via email from Thursday night to people who have had their Covid-19 booster shots.

Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment Ossian Smyth said the new certs are being issued as the EU will be introducing new rules on travel from February 1st.

Under the new rules, the current certs will be valid for nine months after completing the primary two-dose course.

Travel requirements

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Fully vaccinated passengers arriving into Ireland no longer need to supply a negative PCR test following a decision by the Cabinet on Wednesday.

The measures had been introduced at the end of last year to slow the arrival of the Omicron variant, however, as the variant is now dominant, it was felt the measure is no longer beneficial.

The PCR test requirement does however remain in place for unvaccinated arrivals.

Ballyfermot attack

Two male teenagers have been arrested in connection with a serious assault that took place in Ballyfermot last week.

The incident happened near the Civic Offices on Ballyfermot Road on December 30th around 9.30pm.

A teenage girl and boy both sustained serious injuries, with the girl told there is a 90 per cent chance she will lose sight in one of her eyes.

Gardaí continue to appeal for witnesses of the assault to come forward.

Golfgate trial

The trial of two politicians and two hoteliers over their alleged breach of Covid restrictions in organising a golf society dinner has begun in Galway.

Galway East Independent TD Noel Grealish (55), former Fianna Fáil senator Donie Cassidy (75), and owners of the Station House Hotel John Sweeney (60) and his son James Sweeney (32), face charges related to organising the Oireachtas Golf Society event during pandemic restrictions.

All men face a single charge that on August 19th, 2020 they organised an event which contravened the Health Act 1947, as amended, to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of Covid-19.

The alleged offences relate to a dinner which took place at the Station House Hotel, Clifden on that date which was attended by 81 people.

Weather warning

A status yellow ice and snow warning will cover the entire island later today as Met Éireann predict "scattered showers of hail, sleet and snow, and icy stretches" for Thursday evening.

A warning for the Republic will take effect at 4pm, while a similar alert from the UK Met Office has been issued for the North, beginning at 8pm.

The warnings will remain in place until 11am on Friday.

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