By Anthony Neeson
Half of the adult population of the Republic of Ireland is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
And the hospitality industry is now in talks with the government to reopen indoor hospitality by July 19, the date when international travel is due to resume.
This week, the country’s pharmacies are rolling out the one dose Janssen Covid jabs to people aged between 18-34, as the health service speeds up vaccinations in the race against the Delta variant which stands at 70 percent of cases of the virus rate in the country.
The government has also purchased one million vaccines from Romania. The Chief Executive of the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), Paul Reid, has said that it is possible to have the whole adult population of the country vaccinated by the end of August.
“Everything is built on supply lines, ” he told RTÉ. “We’ve had week-on-week impacts on our supply line.”
New figures show that 2.56 million adults (68 percent) are partially vaccinated, with over 1.8 million fully vaccinated.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin is calling on people to remain vigilant.
“Delta does present a challenge,” he said, speaking in Cork. “The interesting issue will be the link between volume of cases and hospitalization.
“We are concerned about it, but that said, we have significant numbers of the population vaccinated, we are going to accelerate that in the coming month, it is a race between the vaccines and the virus.
“There will be a wave, but it will be different in its impact than previous waves.”
As the country continues to reopen, from this week the number of people who are permitted to attend a wedding has risen from 25 to 50 guests.
Two hundred people can now attend an outdoor even, while events at a venue with a capacity of over 5,000 will be able to accommodate 500 people.
At the weekend there were a number of pilot events with 3,000 fans at the Tipperary versus Clare Munster semi-final, while 3,500 attended a music event in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin.