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Almost exactly a year ago Ireland stood on the edge of the first great reopening in this pandemic. Photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

For the third time we stand on the threshold of reopening. Let’s get it right this time Once again, freedom beckons. The targets have been hit –(...)

Groves of giant rhododendrons drip with Jack in the Beanstalk-sized blossoms at Kilmacurragh gardens in Wicklow.  Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Visiting any garden after the endless nothingness of lockdown number three feels strange. But visiting Kilmacurragh National Botanic Gardens in east W(...)

A worker loads a refrigerated container of Chinese vaccine SinoVac in an Air France Boeing 787 bound for Bogotá, Colombia, at Roissy Airport, near Paris, on Sunday. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA

Chinese state media has rushed to defend its locally developed coronavirus vaccines, with a senior health official insisting that he was “misunderstoo(...)

A nurse administers a dose of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine, at a vaccination centre in Shanghai. Photograph: Bloomberg

China’s Centre for Disease Control is thinking about mixing vaccines and varying the sequence of doses to boost efficacy. It is the first time a gover(...)

Yonhy Lescano Ancieta, presidential candidate of the Popular Action party,  during a final campaign rally ahead of Sunday’s   election. Photograph: Angela Ponce/Bloomberg

Given Peru’s recent past it would be understandable if few people were willing to put their names forward for Sunday’s presidential election. The pre(...)

A health worker injects a dose of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at Casernes Hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Photograph: Alejandro Garcia/EPA

AstraZeneca has reported a slightly lower efficacy rate for its Covid-19 vaccine after the results of an US clinical trial were criticised as outdated(...)

Mandatory quarantine: Dublin Airport Crowne Plaza is the first hotel being used under the scheme. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

We have a mandatory quarantine system in place now, don’t we? Yes. The booking system is now open, with the quarantine hotels themselves ope(...)

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine  was 79 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic illness, the trial found. Photograph: Gent Shkullaku/AFP via Getty Images

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca was 79 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic illness in a large trial in th(...)

Demonstrators in  Asunción, Paraguay,  protesting  at surging coronavirus cases and the country’s weak  healthcare system. Photograph: Maria Magdalena Arrellaga/The New York Times

For nearly a year Paraguay was a leader in keeping the Covid pandemic at bay, and despite its persistent troubles the country remained fairly calm. No(...)

While experts broadly agree that plug-in vehicles are a more climate-friendly option than traditional vehicles, they can still have their own environmental impacts, depending on how they’re charged up and manufactured. Illustration: The New York Times

Around the world, governments and carmakers are promoting electric vehicles as a key technology to curb oil use and fight climate change. General Moto(...)

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