The French government is expected to introduce a mandatory Covid-19 requirement for all hauliers carrying goods on direct ferry routes to produce a negative test result on their arrival. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP

Up to 2,000 rapid test kits will be required a week to test lorry drivers on direct ferries

The Coombe said it was unable to find more frontline healthcare workers  after it produced a higher-than-expected number of Pfizer-BioNTech  doses from its supply when it was rolling out vaccines to staff. Photograph: EPA/Lukasz Gagulski

The Coombe gave 16 doses to family members of staff so they would not be wasted

Empty shelves in Tesco, Banbridge, Northern Ireland.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Supermarkets could face difficulties keeping shelves stocked amid new border controls

The Coombe said it followed Government guidelines on the day and focused on the two current priority groups. Photograph: Alan Betson

Two children of Master of Coombe maternity hospital understood to be among those vaccinated

Mr Byrne’s funeral will be streamed by UCD on its website

Dublin cemetery donates ‘fitting’ burial plot to man ‘who lived out in the wild’

The State faces a hospitals emergency after the Government’s relaxation of coronavirus Christmas restrictions

Government departed from Nphet advice while many people ‘forgot there was a pandemic’

Dublin Port this week. Traders have expressed frustration at the layers of new border controls applying now on imports from Britain.  Photograph: AFP via Getty

Traders complained that technical issues added to delays on goods moving

A pharmacist holding   a phial of the undiluted Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for Covid-19. Photograph: Jean-Francois Monier/AFP/Getty

Health authorities now publishing vaccination numbers on Covid data hub

Northern Ireland is bearing the brunt of Brexit: Empty  shelves in Tesco, Banbridge.  Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

At Dublin Port corporate UK’s failure to prepare for Brexit is major part of delays

 The HSE said on Thursday   there were 142 nursing home Covid-19 outbreaks and it was monitoring 103 closely as many residents await the  rollout of vaccines. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Bloomberg

Calls for rapid vaccine rollout for non-Covid cases as more care homes battle outbreaks

The Department of Health said follow-up text messages were sent to 71% of the 54,793 who completed the passenger-locator form ahead of travel into the country between December 21st and January 3rd. Photograph: Getty Images

Some 38,990 follow-up texts were sent and 8,872 follow-up calls were made to check that visitors were following public health advi(...)

Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda has had to treat so many seriously ill patients with the virus that it has had to reconfigure its operations. Photograph: Alan Betson

Hospitals in Drogheda and Dundalk, and nursing home, dealing with outbreaks

The Stena Embla will be able to take about 50 more lorries than the Stena Horizon. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Ferries put on more capacity on direct routes as businesses look to avoid border controls

There were 311 Covid-19 cases linked to those new outbreaks, compared with 65 new cases linked to nursing home outbreaks the previous week. Photograph: Fredrik Lerneryd/Getty

New clusters found in 52 nursing homes with five-fold increase in cases linked to outbreaks

Hauliers are booked onto the new Rosslare to Dunkirk service operated by shipping line DFDS.

New ferry service ‘bumping’ lorries for vital imports of medicines and medical supplies

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan at a press conference at the Department of Health, Dublin. Photograph:   Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Chief medical officer calls on people to stay home ‘out of respect’ for those who have died

 A nurse prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19. Photograph: EPA/Zoltan Balogh

Simpson’s Hospital in Dundrum has suffered one of the worst outbreaks of the third wave

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan: ‘Unfortunately, due to the unsustainably high level of Covid-19 infection we have experienced as a country over the past few weeks, sadly these figures are likely to continue for the next period of time.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Higher number of fatalities likely to continue in coming days, warns Holohan

Michael Byrne was for decades part of the fabric of college life at UCD. His body was found on the Belfield campus on Monday. Photograph: UCD Twitter/Humans of Ireland Facebook page

71-year-old was a quiet, beloved presence on UCD campus for more than three decades

Gardaí and customs examine trucks at Dublin Port. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Department of Agriculture to examine EU-UK deal for ways to ease health controls

Six residents have died in total at Droimnín Nursing Home in Stradbally, Co Laois since the outbreak started on December 31st. Photograph: Droimnín Nursing Home/Facebook

Five residents at Droimnín Nursing Home in Stradbally died in less than a week

Empty supermarket shelves  in  Marks & Spencer in Liffey Valley, Lucan. Photograph: Alan Betson

Imports still delayed despite Revenue’s relaxation of customs rule to get goods moving

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar’s criticism of chief medical officer Tony Holohan and the Nphet  on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live was praised by many. Photograph: RTÉ screenshot

Emails show support for Tánaiste’s stand on RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live

A truck takes the direction of the ferries to cross the Channel to Britain. Photograph: Denis Charlet/ AFP via Getty Images

Northern Irish hauliers will require negative tests to enter France as travel rules extended

Rosslare Europort reported an almost 500 per cent increase in freight units on ferries to and from France and Spain in the first six sailing days of January. Photograph: Alan Betson

Businesses switch from UK landbridge to avoid post-Brexit border controls

Prof John Bates, a consultant in intensive care medicine at University Hospital Galway (UHG), said that the vaccination of healthcare workers ‘cannot happen fast enough’ as hospitals deal with rapid increases in people with the virus being admitted.

Cork doctor tells people to avoid risky activity to save hospital space for Covid patients

The bulk of the 54,311 people who arrived through the airports between December 21st and January 3rd – some 52,638 – came through Dublin Airport (pictured). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Almost 1,500 arrived on UK repatriation flights after Covid ban on travel from Britain

Lorries leave the Stena Line terminal at Belfast Harbour on January 1st. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

New border red tape has jammed up supply chains, grounded loads and cancelled ferries

Revenue Commissioners issued a general code to allow traders and hauliers circumvent customs arrangements.

Revenue relaxes border controls as firms discover they were not Brexit ready

A Stena ferry departing Holyhead for Dublin on January 1st. Stena is reviewing its Irish Sea schedules because of Brexit and Covid restrictions.  Photograph: Bloomberg

Stena temporarily cancels sailings on Dublin-Holyhead and Rosslare-Fishguard routes

Dr O’Loughlin, intensive care consultant at the Mater hospital in Dublin, said the “real worry” was how to deal with Covid-19 alongside patients coming in in other medical emergencies such as heart attacks and road traffic incidents. “We may not have a bed for them in the intensive care,” he said. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Medics express concern over the impact of surge in critically ill Covid patients

A doctor administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine. Photograph: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

HSE says vaccine will protect people in settings where risk of infection is higher

All visitors from Britain and South Africa will have to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test to enter the State. File photograph: Getty

Travel measures introduced to stem infections and spread of new virus strains

There was a sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 outbreaks in hospitals and nursing homes over the Christmas and New Year period as infections in the community soared, new figures show.

Total of 23 new outbreaks in hospitals and 22 in nursing homes over New Year period

The number of coronavirus patients in intensive care units has more than doubled to 76 in just one week. Photograph: Alan Betson

Tallaght director calls for ‘one big last push’ from the public to protect hospitals

Droimnín Nursing Home in Stradbally, Co Laois. It detected the first Covid-19 infection on December 29th in a resident who had been discharged from hospital. Photograph: Droimnín Nursing Home/Facebook

Two residents of Elmhurst Nursing Home in Glasnevin have died as a result of the virus

Maura Byrne, has become the first nursing home resident in the country to receive a Covid-19 vaccination. Photograph: Anthony Edwards, Clinical Photographer, St James’s Hospital

Maura Byrne lost her husband to Covid-19 and survived the disease last year

‘We have seen some early progress in that the average number of contacts per case has been dropping in recent days.’   Dr Tony Holohan said. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Current surge can be turned around quickly if lockdown measures are adhered to , Holohan says

A rainbow forms over Dublin Port on Monday afternoon. ‘Vaccines are very much something that we will ensure will move speedily through,’ said Tom Talbot, head of customs operations for the Revenue Commissioners at Dublin Port. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

State officials to use same expedited procedures deployed for supply of PPE in 2020

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said vaccinations will be increased to 40,000 per week as more supplies become available. Photograph: Laura Hutton

Confusion surrounds apparent delay in roll-out of jabs at two Dublin facilities

Signage at Holyhead port in North Wales indicates the direction vehicles should follow depending on the relevant paperwork for crossing to Ireland. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP via Getty Images

Increased traffic after Christmas break will test border control systems, says Varadkar

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said the increase in hospitalisations  is unsustainable for the healthcare system. Photograph:Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Holohan says ‘significant’ surge in infections leading to ‘rapid’ increase in hospitalisations

Coronavirus sign on the gates of a school in Reading, England. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Teachers unions say members are deeply concerned over surge in coronavirus cases

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said it was the ‘firm intention of the Government to open the schools’. Photograph: Julien Behal

Tánaiste refuses to rule out further curbs as Ryan suggests travel limit could drop to 2km

 There were 56 seriously ill patients in intensive care units with Covid-19 on Saturday night. FIle photograph: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Republic passes 100,000 confirmed cases with hospitals under ‘extreme’ pressure

Trucks pass through a customs post at Dublin Port as new arrangements come into force. Photograph: PA

Revenue warns hauliers will face sanctions if directions to visit customs posts are ignored

DFDS ship Optima Seaways  doing berthing trials earlier this week at Rosslare Europort, in preparation for the new direct service to Dunkirk.

Danish shipping company DFDS says three direct sailings on Saturday are full up

It is the fourth time Ireland has held one of the 10 rotating seats on the influential UN Security Council.

State at inner sanctum of 15-nation body for the first time since 2002

Container ships sit moored to the quayside at Dublin Port. File photograph: Aidan Crawley/Bloomberg

Dublin Port will be ground zero for checks on goods from Britain, but a lot remains uncertain

An IT system set up by the French authorities will not be able to distinguish between British and Irish lorry drivers transporting food consignments through the UK “landbridge”. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

French envoy says system to expedite Irish trucks transiting via UK comes ‘too late’ for Brexit date

Stena Line brought forward the planned doubling of ferry sailings and capacity on its ships on the direct service between Rosslare and Cherbourg in response to congestion.

Stena Line says that first direct sailing to France after UK’s exit is fully booked

Customs Officers at Dublin Port pictured this afternoon as the Brexit transition period comes to an end. Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

State agencies warn of delays at Dublin Port if traders are not ready for border checks

Daniel Kinahan, who founded MTK in 2012. Photograph: Collins

Manager sues gangland figure under American laws used tackle organised crime gangs

Taoiseach Micheál Martin with Louise Byrne, right, principal officer for Brexit and international trade at the Department of Agriculture. Photograph: Julien Behal

Complexity of new regime could create an uneconomic burden for some businesses

Taoiseach says while the deal reached between the EU-UK would disappoint fishermen, it is was still better than no deal. Photograph: PA

Irish reaction: ‘Very poor’ agreement ‘fails Irish fishermen’, industry group says

A ferry arrives at the Port of Dover in England on Monday.  Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Minister warns of weeks of delays as Covid-19 and Brexit disrupt British roads and ports

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘I would like to see it happening before Christmas, it could go beyond Christmas Day.’ Photograph: Julien Behal Photography/PA Wire

Government still planning for no-deal scenario as EU negotiators make ‘final push’

Trucks parked near the Port of Dover in southern England on Tuesday.  The Irish haulage industry wants exemptions from Covid testing for Irish drivers ‘transiting’ through the UK on their way to mainland Europe.  Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Long traffic jams raise questions about viability of Irish transit route through Britain

 A police officer checks a lorry driver’s information at Dover on Tuesday. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Coveney urges businesses to take direct ferries to Europe to avoid UK disruption

Freight lorries lined up at the front of the queue on the runway at Manston Airport, Kent, after France imposed a 48-hour ban on entry from the UK. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

France and UK reach agreement to reopen English Channel to lorry freight

Police and port staff turn away vehicles from the Port of Dover in Kent.  Photograph: Steve Parsons/ PA Wire

Hauliers say French travel ban exposes lack of capacity on direct ferries to mainland EU

Truck drivers stand  near parked trucks on the M20 motorway  in the UK. Photograph: Chris Ratcliffe/ Bloomberg

Commission to assess what categories of people can travel from Britain into the EU

Irish truckers Paddy Neary (left) and John Doughty stuck outside Newhaven in the south of England, with their lorries pulled up on a roadside lay-by, after being asked to leave a France-bound ferry to Dieppe on Sunday night.

France’s ban to stop new virus type from spreading wreaks havoc for transport firms

Both Stena ships will sail on Tuesday to alleviate the pressure on Irish transport companies and add capacity to direct routes to mainland Europe.

Shipping line brings forward Brexit plans to double capacity on Rosslare-Cherbourg route

Cillian De Gascun, director of UCD’s National Virus Reference Laboratory. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/ The Irish Times

People would need to be more vigilant if novel strain spreads to State, says De Gascun

Aaron McAleenan,  managing director at Elsatrans Ltd:  “If I was to get another 40,000sq ft warehouse, I would fill it tomorrow.” Photograph: Tom Honan

Storage space ‘maxed out’ in and around Dublin as firms hoard to avoid new checks

There were four new Covid-19 outbreaks at nursing homes during the week ending December 12th, a decline of one on the previous week. Photograph: Getty Images

Brabazon House has been assisted by the HSE in containing eruption of disease

  Twenty-three residents of Dealgan House died in a coronavirus outbreak. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Records show McGuinness texted Harris at Easter about concerns over virus outbreak


Freight operators warn of ‘serious consequences’ for transport of supplies

Trucks at Dover. The port – through which many Irish exporters and importers move goods – has said it is closed to trucking and passengers “until further notice”. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller

Up to 250 lorries stuck in England because of measures to halt new coronavirus strain

The proposed agreement on fisheries would affect Donegal particularly hard given that Killybegs depends heavily on mackerel fishing in UK waters for a large part of its business. Photograph: Brian McDaid

Donegal fishermen claim they would be hardest-hit as mackerel fished in UK waters

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Frost leaves EU headquarters in Brussels after a meeting with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier ion Sunday. Photograph: AP Photo/Virginia Mayo

UK drive for financial clawback on fish caught in its waters by EU boats opposed

Prof Paddy Mallon: If the new strain is easier to transmit, it could force a fundamental change in how the Government controls the virus. Photograph: Alan Betson

Some scientists say data insufficient to conclude strain more transmissible than before

Passengers are seen disembarking from an inter-terminal train at London Gatwick Airport. The Irish Government is considering a ban on non-essential travel from Britain in response to a new, fast-spreading Covid-19 strain that has been found in England. Photograph: Bloomberg

Flight suspension from midnight, ferries to carry hauliers only; no change for North

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan says  ‘the country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week.’ Above,   shoppers on Grafton Street  in Dublin. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Government expected to reject Nphet advice which calls for new measures from December 28th

It is recommending that non-essential retail can remain open. Photograph: iStock

Restrictions have just been relaxed but more Covid-19 means restrictions before year-end

The Government may decide to keep open the possibility of permitting outdoor dining for restaurants and gastropubs that can accommodate diners in heated outdoor areas. File photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Government ‘minded’ to go with ‘significant restrictions’ on hospitality sector - Taoiseach

Fishing is a political symbol for the UK government that it is ‘taking back control’. File photograph: EPA

Irish fishing depends heavily on access to UK waters for a large share of valuable catch

Submissions sought on Bill to give workers ‘right to switch off’ from online work Photograph: iStock

Intention of code is to ensure employers and employees are aware of requirements and entitlements

Food shortages, tailbacks and congested ports at Holyhead. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP

Brexit stockpiling, weather delays and loss of a ferry to Covid outbreak congest Welsh port

Christmas shoppers on Grafton Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara MacDónaill / The Irish Times

Covid-19 cases are rising but travel and household visits rules will be relaxed for almost three weeks

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly (centre) said he appreciated that this ‘may be disappointing for some residents and their family member’. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

‘Significant risk’ of unwitting introduction’ of virus into care homes from visitors, Minister for Health warns

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on RTÉ Six One News. Photograph: RTÉ

Varadkar confirms Government thinking about ‘essentially closing hospitality again’ as restaurateurs complain of ‘devastating econ(...)

Trucks queue for the port of Dover: Irish lorries have been caught up in road-side “stacking” of vehicles over the past week. Photograph:  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Hauliers caught in Dover-Calais gridlock from Brexit stockpiling fear ‘total chaos’

A cargo ship in Dublin Port as the Oireachtas transport committee has been told that new customs checks and import controls at Irish ports due to Brexit will have huge implications and massive knock-on consequences for the road haulage industry. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Brittany Ferries says Government could prioritise transport of essential supplies

More than 60,000 UK  licences have been exchanged to Irish licences since 2019.

Drivers will not be permitted on roads legally from January 1st without an Irish licence

Democratic Congressman Brendan Boyle, speaking to a Dublin webinar on Wednesday, said the next US government’s main priority would be trade with China. File Photograph:  Rich Polk/Getty Images

Democrat Brendan Boyle says ‘far larger’ EU economy will be ‘greater priority’ for Biden

Michéal Ó Muircheartaigh says he prefers the Irish phrase ‘ag clutharú’ – “being comfortable or sheltered” – to ‘cocooning’. Photograph: Alan Betson

Retired sports commentator says ‘leave it to the experts’

 The disruption new border checks at ports will cause to the transport industry will be “immense” and have “the capacity to bring the licensed haulage industry to a standstill”. Photograph: Alan Betson

Next four weeks to be ‘period of unprecedented disruption’ for imports and exports

‘I don’t think there is any cause for scaring people on this right now.’ Photograph: Paul Scott

It is common for viruses to mutate and a new variant follows patterns over the past year

The German regulator believed Twitter’s fine should be in the €7.3m-€22m range. Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP Photo

EU board of regulators sought bigger penalty to deter future breaches

The HSE-run Clonakilty Community Hospital was found to be non-compliant on seven regulations  during an  unannounced Hiqa inspection over two days in June.

State’s health watchdog wants review of management of outbreak at Clonakilty facility

Michael McCambridge, managing director of McCambridge’s, says they are pointing more towards the EU for anything they can get in the future rather than defaulting to the UK. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Plans to stockpile and source alternative supplies from EU, and mitigate UK tariffs

The Augustinians took possession of Bray Manor in September as retirement accommodation for a group of retired members.

Ten retired members of religious order were infected in outbreak at Bray care facility

Dublin Port has released plans for processing increased border control checks on goods from Britain after Brexit. File photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Dublin Port ‘disappointed’ with move as it releases traffic plan for border controls

St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park lost 24 residents to coronavirus during the first wave of the pandemic. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

President expressed sympathies at loss of life to virus at St Mary’s Hospital in private letter

A staff member at Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park raised concerns over access to personal protective equipment  early in the pandemic in a protected disclosure on May 6th. Photograph: Eric Luke

TD raises concerns over ‘take any emails off the system’ direction at internal HSE meeting

Revenue warns of ‘immediate impact’ on January 1st for businesses that have not fully completed their preparations.

Industry warns of ‘carnage’ in January coping with new customs for trade with Britain

About 37 per cent of food exports, valued at €4.5 billion, go to the UK market each year, with beef – which sells nearly half its exports to the UK – being the most exposed.  Photograph: iStock

Government looking to repurpose schemes set up to help businesses cope with Covid-19

Liz Canavan, Assistant Secretary to the Department of Taoiseach, during a media briefing on coronavirus. Photograph: Collins

People asked to limit contacts to ‘small circle’ and prioritise activities around ‘close group’

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