Video: Storm Barra, school mask advice, Taoiseach says Nphet not being 'gagged'

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Storm Barra

Met Éireann has issued a red weather warning for two counties, warning Storm Barra is turning into a “weather bomb” and poses “a danger to life”.

The atmospheric pressure which creates the storm energy is twice that anticipated, hence the term “weather bomb”, head of forecasting Evelyn Cusack said according to The Irish Times.

At lunchtime on Monday, Met Éireann upgraded a wind warning for Kerry and Cork to status red – the forecaster’s highest level of alert.

People in Kerry and Cork are advised to shelter in place for the duration of the warning, which will take effect from 6am to 9pm on Tuesday.

A red wind warning means consistent wind speeds in excess of 80 kilometres per hour and gusts in excess of 130 kilometres per hour. Conditions are regarded as life-threatening for those who venture outdoors.


Aer Lingus has cancelled a number of its regular flights from Cork Airport tomorrow due to the impending arrival of Storm Barra.

The airline's early morning services to Amsterdam and London Heathrow have been cancelled for tomorrow (Tuesday, December 7th).

Cork Airport advised passengers to check with the airline for further information.

New school mask advice

The Department of Education has issued new advice to schools which stresses that children in third class and above should not be excluded from schools “in the first instance” for not wearing masks.

As reported in The Irish Times, schools should engage with parents and then, if no progress is made, an inspector from the Department of Education will be contacted.

According to the new guidance, if a school agrees with a parent that a mask is not appropriate for the child, then no medical certification for exemption is needed.

The guidance has been issued to change previous rules that unmasked pupils in third class and upwards will be refused entry to their school if they do not have a medical certificate for proof of exemption.

Students who have breathing difficulties or other relevant medical conditions are exempt from wearing masks. A student who is unable to remove their mask without help is also exempt, as well as children with special needs or those with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, sensory concerns or tactile sensitivity.

Taoiseach says Nphet not being 'gagged'


The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has not been “gagged”, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said on Sunday, and the Government would continue to follow its advice in the coming weeks.

As The Irish Times reports, Mr Martin told reporters in Ennis this afternoon “There is no question of anybody being gagged."

He was speaking after a Government decision on Friday that all communications about Covid were to be managed through the Government Information Service, based in Government Buildings.

“Co-ordination is important in terms of co-ordinating government messages,” Mr Martin said.

“There will always be difficulties, and mistakes will get made . . . There’s no playbook that you take off the shelf.”

He said that “overall countries that have generally abided by public health advice have done well, and Ireland has done well compared to other countries.”

PUP claims will be checked against Revenue data, says Minister

Some claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be checked against revenue data, according to the Minister for Social Protection.

Amid the reintroduction of restrictions, the Government is reopening the payment for people from affected sectors at the higher weekly rate of €350.

Minister Heather Humphreys told RTÉ radio’s News at One that if people could show that they had been “genuinely laid off” because of the most recent restrictions, they would qualify for the PUP.

“We are here to help you,” the Minister said. It was important that people, especially those who worked in the nightclub sector, would be supported she said, alongside those in hospitality who had lost work because events had been cancelled.

Ms Humphreys pointed out that anyone who had their working hours shortened could qualify for short time payment.

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