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The 9 at 9: Wednesday

Cabinet expected to announce closure of schools and construction sites, and the results of two Senate races in Georgia.

Updated Jan 6th 2021, 8:58 AM

shutterstock_582355507 Source: Shutterstock/Elena Veselova

EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you all the news you need to know as you start the day.

1. #SURGE IN CASES: Cabinet is today expected to sign off on the closure of schools until at least February, following last night’s sub-committee on Covid-19. Construction sites are also expected to close until next month.

2. #TRAVEL: All travellers coming into Ireland from any country will have to provide a negative PCR test from the previous 72 hours under new plans agreed by the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19.

3. #GEORGIA: US media outlets are calling one of two key Senate races in Georgia in favour of Democrat Raphael Warnock, as counting enters its final hours.

4. #PEAK HOSPITAL CAPACITY: There are now 921 people hospitalised with Covid-19, a figure topping the previous peak of 881 in hospital in mid-April, according to the CEO of the HSE.

5. #ICU CAPACITY: We’re in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, so how robust is our intensive care capacity?

6. #SMEAR TESTS: CervicalCheck said GPs are under pressure as a result of the surge in Covid-19 cases, and may not be able to offer screening appointments in the short term RTÉ reports.

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7. #BLACK LIVES MATTER: A Wisconsin prosecutor says he will not file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a black man in the back in Kenosha last summer, leaving him paralysed and setting off protests in the city.

8. #BREXIT COSTS: Consumers have been reminded about new Brexit costs now in place for online retail following on from the UK’s complete exit from the EU.

9. #WELFARE: A memo will be brought to Cabinet today seeking to keep the current Pandemic Unemployment Payment rates in place until 31 March.

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