Covid restrictions eased
Today brings a substantial easing of Covid-19 restrictions, with the reopening of outdoor sports facilities, zoos and other outdoor visitor attractions.
As restrictions continue to relax on a phased basis, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that “outdoor is the theme for the summer”.
This week will see a formal announcement on Thursday of what sectors are likely to reopen throughout May, June, July and beyond — here is what we know about the plan.
Garda body cameras
Government is bringing forward a new law that would allow body cameras to be used by gardaí.
It’s expected to be in place some time next year.
Investigation into Killarney National Park fire
Up to half of the landmass at Killarney National Park has been damaged by the fires of recent days.
The blaze is now extinguished, but Kerry Fire Service will closely monitor the area into the evening.
The Government has announced it is recruiting 50 more Conservation Rangers across the country in a bid to prevent fires like this happening again.
Minister of State at the Department of Heritage Malcolm Noonan says they'll be working with Gardai to investigate the cause of the fire: “Absolutely, there will be an investigation as there is with any of these incidents.”
Ireland to send oxygen concentrators to India
Ireland is to donate 700 oxygen concentrators to India as part of efforts to assist with the devastating Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
India reported more than 350,000 confirmed cases in 24 hours on Monday, with hospitals in crisis, turning away patients due to a lack of oxygen and bed capacity.
It was the fifth day in a row that cases had hit a record peak, prompting pledges of aid from the US, the European Union and the UK.
Ireland is to send 700 oxygen concentrators — a device that draws oxygen from the air and delivers it to patients — as part of its emergency material donation.
Johnson & Johnson advice
The State’s vaccines watchdog is “finalising” its advice on the Johnson & Johnson shot, seen as key to the Irish Covid-19 vaccination programme.
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) is discussing how the vaccine might be used in Ireland in light of reports linking it to rare but serious clotting events in the US.
A spokesman for Niac confirmed on Monday afternoon that it met over the weekend and again on Monday morning, and it is “finalising [its] recommendations to the chief medical officer”.