Video: Back to the dancefloor, walk-in vaccination centres, KBC-BOI deal

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Restrictions easing

Nightclubs will open today for the first time since March 2020, as a slight easing of Covid-19 restrictions takes effect.

Alongside the easing of guidelines for the hospitality sector, the Government is warning people to remain vigilant and cautious if the country wants to avoid a return to restrictions.

On Thursday night, Minister for Culture Catherine Martin confirmed that nightclubs will be able to return with 100 per cent capacity and live entertainment venues will be permitted to have 1,500 people standing, under the updated guidelines.

The measures, which include extended opening hours beyond 11.30pm and allow customers to queue at the bar, while observing social distancing, are set to be reviewed in the coming weeks.

Vaccinations

Additional walk-in Covid-19 vaccination centres will be open around the country this weekend as part of efforts to get more people vaccinated.

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Anyone over the age of 12 can attend a walk-in clinic over the coming days to receive their first or second dose of the vaccine.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid has called on people to consider the "common good", stating that those who are unvaccinated are at a higher level of risk and, by extension, are putting their family, friends, and the wider society at a higher risk.

The locations and operating times of walk-in vaccination centres around the country can be found on the HSE website.

EPA report

Ireland’s carbon emissions reduced by just 3.6 per cent last year compared to 2019 despite widespread Covid-19 restrictions on activities, new figures from the Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) show.

Residential and agricultural greenhouse gases increased, underlining the challenge facing the country in attempting to halve overall emissions by 2030.

Lockdowns resulted in a 15.7 per cent decline in transport emissions, the largest sectoral reduction.

KBC deal

Bank of Ireland has agreed to buy "substantially all" of KBC's Irish performing assets for €5 billion as the Belgian financial group confirmed it would become the latest lender to leave the shrinking Irish market.

The two banks announced they were in talks about the deal in April, just weeks after NatWest began winding down its Ulster Bank business in the Republic.

The departures leave the State with just three retail banks.

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