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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Sasko Lazarov/ Businesses in Dublin city centre were getting ready for re-opening yesterday.
# need to know
Nine more people with the virus die, and the difficulty with reopening playgrounds: Today's Covid-19 main points
Here’s what Covid-related news is making headlines today.

LAST UPDATE | Jun 6th 2020, 6:00 PM

IN A SPEECH that began with Cicero and ended with Sam Gamgee from the Lord of the Rings (yes, really), Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced details yesterday of how Ireland would be re-opening at a faster rate than originally indicated.

It means that shops can open from Monday, you can travel anywhere within your county, meet up to six people indoors and outdoors and up to 25 people will be permitted to attend a funeral.

Under the accelerated roadmap, pubs will also be opening earlier than previously indicated and so will shopping centres and hotels. Despite all this, people are still being asked to take all necessary precautions, particularly around social distancing.

“As our country opens up and we start interacting more, personal responsibility becomes even more important than ever. We got into this fight against Covid-19 together, and we will only get out of it together,” Varadkar stated.

Looking further afield, the World Health Organization changed its advice face masks, saying they should be worn in places where the virus is widespread and physical distancing is difficult.

“In light of evolving evidence, WHO advises that governments should encourage the general public to wear masks where there is widespread transmission and physical distancing is difficult,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

But the UN health agency stressed that face masks alone “will not protect you from Covid-19″ – which has been stressed repeatedly by public health authorities here in Ireland. 

Here are today’s Covid-19 main points: 

Here are today’s international Covid-19 main points:

  • The World Health Organization has changed its advice on face masks, saying they should be worn in places where the virus is widespread and physical distancing is difficult.
  • The UK has said the reproductive (R) rate of Covid-19 has increased slightly.
  • A Tory MP has apologised for attending a barbecue against government advice.
  • US President Donald Trump has said the US is “largely through” the pandemic, but 922 deaths were still recorded yesterday in America. The death toll there is 109,042.
  • An Australian court has banned a Black Lives Matter protest planned in Sydney, backing government claims it could risk spreading the coronavirus. 
  • President Jair Bolsonaro has threatened to pull Brazil – now the third worst-hit country – from the World Health Organization over “ideological bias”. 
  • A senior government official in France has said “we can reasonably say the virus is currently under control” in the country. 

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