Near-record temperatures, Pharmacies hit 100,000 jabs, Indoor dining talks

Warm week ahead

Ireland is facing a week of near-record high temperatures, forecasters have predicted.

As the island basks in a July heatwave, Met Éireann and the UK Met Office have said temperatures could rise above 30 degrees Celsius in some areas on Wednesday and Thursday.

Met Éireann has issued a status orange warning for high temperatures in six counties: Cavan, Monaghan, south Leitrim, Roscommon, Longford and Westmeath.

The forecaster said maximum daytime highs will exceed 30 degrees in these counties and overnight temperatures will drop no lower than around 20 degrees.

Pharmacies reach 100.000

The HSE should supply the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to pharmacies participating in the Covid vaccination programme, the secretary general of the Irish Pharmacy Union has said.

Darragh O’Loughlin told Newstalk radio that pharmacies had received all the available supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine with the next delivery scheduled for late August.

In the past two weeks over 100,000 people aged 18 to 34 have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in almost 800 appointed pharmacies around the country.

Mr O’Loughlin said this showed the enthusiasm of Irish young people and was “extraordinary” and “very encouraging”.

Rogue restaurants

“Rogue operators” within the restaurant industry who “step out of line” from new indoor dining guidelines will be closed down immediately, the chief executive of the Restaurants Association has warned.

Adrian Cummins told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that swift action will be necessary so the industry can remain fully open to customers into the future.

“Businesses want to make sure they do the right thing across the board,” he said.

The sector is asking the Government for the protection of the State with inspections across the country, so that if any business steps out of line that they are closed down immediately, he added.

“That’s very important for our industry that all rogue operators are dealt with swiftly so that we can maintain our industry in an open manner into the future.”

Covid cert helpline

Thousands of people have been told to buy PCR Covid tests costing up to €400 to allow them to leave the country this week after the Government’s Covid certificate helpline buckled under the demand of calls.

The delays have been branded as “completely unacceptable”, with assurances given only last week by officials that the technology was able to cope with the level of calls.

As a result of the logjams, fully vaccinated passengers due to leave the country in the coming days have been left with no choice but to get a PCR test as a “workaround”, with some paying several hundred euro.

With the return of non-essential travel on Monday, there were widespread complaints about not being able to access the helpline or being forced to wait several hours before an agent was available.

AIB closures

AIB is to close 15 branches before the end of the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the “unrelenting” shift towards online banking.

The bank said on Tuesday it had completed a “detailed strategic review” due to changes in how customers interact with banks, a trend that “has been accelerated” by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Following the unrelenting shift in customer preference for digital banking over the last number of years, AIB is announcing the amalgamation of 15 branches in locations across the country by December this year,” it said.

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