Video: Nphet mask wearing advice, double bank holiday, Garth Brooks extra dates

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Kenneth Fox

Sky on Saorview

International broadcasting company Sky has confirmed its flagship news service, Sky News will be added to the Saorview platform.

The channel will launch on the free-to-air service on Tuesday, November 30th.

Saorview users will be able to access Sky's 24-hour live news bulletins and programmes on channel 23, covering breaking stories from around the world in addition to news from across Ireland.

Remarking that Sky News has production teams in both Dublin and Belfast, Sky Ireland chief executive JD Buckley said the company is delighted the channel will become free-to-air here.

Underlying condition

Almost all fully vaccinated patients in intensive care units have an underlying condition, the Health Minister has said.

More than 630,000 Covid booster jabs had been administered by Tuesday, and people with underlying health conditions will start to receive them from next week.

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Stephen Donnelly said the programme to roll out boosters to all residents in long-term residential care is “substantially complete”.

Nphet advice on mask wearing

A member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has said it is time to consider mask wearing among primary school children.

Professor Mary Horgan, president of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, said the increase in infections among primary school children is higher than the rest of the population.

The issue is expected to be discussed by Nphet when it meets on Thursday, though the Government does not intend to introduce any new restrictions this week, according to The Irish Times.

St.Patrick's day bank holiday

A double bank holiday around St Patrick's Day is being considered by the Government.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said March 17th and 18th could both be bank holidays for a four-day weekend in 2022.

The extra holiday would serve as a day of remembrance and to thank frontline workers for their efforts during the pandemic.

Speaking on RTÉ radio's Today with Claire Byrne, Mr Varadkar said it was too late to have the bank holiday around St Brigid's Day on February 1st, as employers need plenty of notice.

Garth Brooks dates

Three extra dates have been added to Garth Brooks' series of concerts in Croke Park next September due to high demand.

Further concerts will be held on September 11th, 16th and 17th at the Dublin venue, in addition to September 9th and 10th.

At 8.10am more than 280,000 people were waiting to buy tickets for the gigs.

Planning permission has been given for five concerts in total.

First-time buyers

First-time buyers aged 30 or under accounted for just over a quarter of Irish mortgage drawdowns in the first half of this year, down from a 60 per cent share of the market in 2004, according to a new report from Banking & Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

Its release comes as the Central Bank is set to outline on Thursday whether banks can participate in the Government’s proposed shared-equity housing scheme to help first-time buyers.

The regulator will also publish the outcome of the annual review of its mortgage-lending rules.

However, little change is expected as the Central Bank continues a broad assessment of the lending restrictions framework introduced in 2015 to avoid a repeat of the pre-2008 crash domestic housing bubble.

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