HSE chief warns of rising hospital admissions ahead of pubs reopening indoors

A total of 123 patients in hospital have Covid-19, with 22 in intensive care.
HSE chief warns of rising hospital admissions ahead of pubs reopening indoors

By Cate McCurry, PA

A further 1,126 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the Republic, the Department of Health said.

A total of 123 patients in hospital have Covid-19, including 22 in intensive care.

It comes as the head of the HSE Paul Reid warned that the number of people treated in hospital with the disease is rising.

“Positively, now over 5.5 million vaccines administered with 83% of adults now partially vaccinated and over 68% fully,” Mr Reid tweeted.

“As hospitality, society and the economy opens up further, let’s all embrace it safely and make it work.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of Education confirmed that schools will reopen as planned in September.

In a statement, Norma Foley said she wanted to “reassure” parents and guardians that plans are in place to reopen schools from late August.

Mrs Foley is to bring a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday with her plans to reopen schools in the new academic year.

She said in a statement: “As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the reopening will be carried out in close consultation with public health and education partners.

Norma Foley says she wants to 'reassure' parents that plans are in place to reopen schools from late August. Photo: Liam McBurney/PA

“The new variants of the disease do not change the infection prevention and control measures required in schools.

“Schools will continue to be supported in terms of the additional resources necessary to provide for these measures.

“The aim of all of the Covid-19 infection prevention and control measures that have been put in place for schools is to support schools to operate safely and prevent the introduction of Covid-19 and also the onward of transmission of Covid-19 among the school community.

“These measures protect pupils, their parents and school staff.”

Indoor hospitality

On Monday, indoor dining at bars and restaurants will open to the fully vaccinated and those who have had Covid-19 in the last six months.

 

For some Dublin pubs, they will reopen their door for the first time in 497 days.

Donall O’Keeffe, chief executive of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA) said: “Being allowed to provide indoor service will come with a mixture of relief, hope and nervousness for many in the hospitality sector, especially those pubs in Dublin who have not been able to open their doors for the last 497 days.

“The relief of trading will undoubtedly be tinged with trepidation.

“There are a lot of mixed feelings about reopening and what it’s going to mean in terms of handling difficult customers and protecting the welfare of staff.

Social distancing partitions at Paddy Cullen’s pub in Dublin. Photo: Niall Carson/PA

“For many in our sector this is not the way we wanted to reopen, but unfortunately it is the only option on the table.

“All our members and other hospitality businesses must clearly understand that they have to do everything they can to ensure the new guidelines are thoroughly followed and enforced.

“We would also ask the members of the public to work with the sector in helping us to make a success of these measures.

“All hospitality premises should know that any business that flout the rules have the book thrown at them. This is far too important.”

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