'Stark' Covid warning
Ministers have received a “stark” presentation on the trajectory of Covid-19 over the coming months to Christmas, with warnings of cases rising to 5,000 per day and remaining at a high plateau.
The Cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19 met on Tuesday evening, with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly giving a “stark” update, outlining how cases were as high now as at any point apart from the peak of the January wave.
Sources told The Irish Times that there was “no talk of reimposing restrictions but a general concern that a peak and rapid fall cannot be assumed”.
“We might peak but then plateau again at 2,000 a day,” a source said.
The peak of the current wave could still see between 2,500 cases and 4,000 to 5,000 per day, senior Ministers were told.
This could see 800 to 1,000 people in hospital at the peak, with 150 to 200 requiring admission to intensive care.
Met Éireann has warned of potential local flooding impacts as 10 counties are under a status yellow rain warning.
The forecaster issued a number of weather warnings for southern and eastern parts of the country which took effect early on Wednesday, saying that heavy spells of persistent rain will lead to localised flooding.
A rain warning for Cork will remain in place until 3am on Thursday, while a similar warning for Kerry will expire at 1am the same day.
A warning for Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow, Tipperary and Waterford will meanwhile remain in place until 5am on Thursday.
Covid cert challenge
A Galway restaurant is the first business in the State to challenge the Covid-19 cert at court on the grounds of discrimination.
Almost €70,000 has been raised to support Italian restaurant Il Vicolo’s bid to legally challenge the use of the pass proving vaccination or recent recovery from the virus.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support the restaurant on Lower Dominick Street to bring a court action to challenge the ongoing implementation of the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate on the grounds of discrimination and breach of privacy law.
The cert is used as primary evidence of vaccination or immunity when going into a pub, restaurant, café or food court to access indoor hospitality.
Following public health advice, the Government last Friday agreed that remaining aspects of the hospitality, entertainment and nighttime economy sector could reopen only with the continued implementation of the cert.
Protesters gather outside home of broadcaster Joe Duffy
A small number of protesters gathered on Tuesday outside the home of RTÉ radio broadcaster Joe Duffy.
Gardaí responded to reports of a “small group of people staging a protest” outside a private home in Clontarf, north Dublin, at about 4pm, a Garda spokesman told The Irish Times.
“It’s understood the group involved had dispersed without incident prior to the arrival of gardaí,” the spokesman said.
In recent times, people opposed to Covid-19 vaccines have held protests outside the homes of a number of public figures, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, and chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan.
It appeared that people opposed to the Covid-19 vaccines were also involved in the protest outside Mr Duffy’s home.
Both RTÉ and Mr Duffy, who hosts the RTÉ Radio 1 programme Liveline, declined to comment on the matter.
Ireland v Portugal hit with ticket touting issues
A Minister of State has said he is “disappointed and annoyed” at the failure of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to avail of new anti-ticket touting legislation, while a Sinn Féin spokesperson said the legislation had “fallen at the first hurdle”.
It comes after tickets for the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Portugal on November 11th in the Aviva Stadium sold out within minutes on Tuesday morning, with ticket touts re-selling them for inflated prices online.
Minister of State for the Department of Enterprise, Robert Troy, told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that all sporting bodies, music promoters and venues in excess of 1,000 attendees had a responsibility to seek designation for an event under the legislation introduced in the summer.
The process was available online, it was free of charge and could be completed within a matter of minutes, he said. The Minister added that he had written to all sporting organisations, promoters and venues at the end of August to make them aware of the new legislation.