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'Mandatory' rules to reopen businesses, and Obama hits out at Trump: Today's Covid-19 main points

The Leaving Cert, the latest figures, and the UK’s traveller quarantine are also in the headlines today.

A man in Rome walks past a picture reminding people to keep a one-metre distance.
A man in Rome walks past a picture reminding people to keep a one-metre distance.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Updated May 9th 2020, 7:26 PM

A FURTHER 18 Covid-19 deaths and 219 new cases have been confirmed by health officials in Ireland.

The death toll from the virus in this country now stands at 1,446.

The total number of confirmed cases here is 22,760.

Meanwhile, a document detailing a range of measures businesses must implement before they reopen was launched by the government today.

Separately, the Leaving Cert exams have been cancelled, meaning we’re on Plan C for the State exams this year.

Plan C is where teachers give a calculated grade to their students based on what they think students would have received in their Leaving Cert exam.

There’s more on what the 2020 Leaving Cert will entail here, but in truth, there’s still a lot we don’t know. 

Here are today’s main Covid-19 points:

  • A further 18 Covid-19 deaths and 219 new cases have been confirmed by health officials
  • Business Minister Heather Humphreys has announced a series of mandatory measures needed to reopen businesses and offices, which includes a ban on handshakes, and people won’t be allowed to share cups or pens.
  • The Labour Party’s education spokesperson, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, has called on the government to publish the health and legal advice concerning the postponement of the Leaving Cert exam.
  • An image on social media claims that TheJournal.ie and other news outlets are organising a collective applause for the government tonight – it’s false, obviously.
  • Tánaiste Simon Coveney said the Covid-19 pandemic has made the timeline for a UK-EU trade deal “virtually impossible”
  • Northern Ireland’s Chief Constable and the Garda Commissioner have formally signed the terms of reference for the joint review of the PSNI and An Garda Síochána response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Well-known tonic wine Buckfast is being rationed in some off-licences in Northern Ireland, as supplies appear to run low, reports the Irish News.
  • Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe attended the Eurogroup yesterday via video conference, where ministers across the EU agreed the features and standardised terms of the EU fiscal response to the pandemic.

Donohoe said of the agreement: “This is an important and credible safety net for euro area sovereigns, both in its magnitude and its availability to all euro area Member States.

“We have a strong track record of market access and Ireland is well placed to increase its borrowing activity arising from the economic disruption relating to the pandemic. In this context, I note that the NTMA successfully borrowed €6 billion in the bond market for seven years at less than one-quarter of 1%, as recently as last month.”

Here are today’s international Covid-19 points:

  • The UK – where the Covid-19 death toll has surpassed 31,500 people – plans to introduce a 14-day mandatory quarantine for most international arrivals, reports said today, but it won’t include travellers from Ireland.
  • The global death toll for the virus is now over 275,000 people. 
  • In the US, 20.5 million jobs were wiped out in April – the most ever reported – with unemployment rising to 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression. 
  • US Vice President Mike Pence’s spokeswoman, Katie Miller, is the second White House staffer this week to test positive for the coronavirus.
  • Former US President Barack Obama has launched a scathing attack on Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, according to a leaked audio obtained by Yahoo News, calling it an “absolute chaotic disaster”.
  • Seoul has shut down more than 2,100 nightclubs, bars and discos after dozens of coronavirus infections were linked to clubgoers who went out last weekend as South Korea relaxed social distancing guidelines.
  • Air France will check passengers’ temperatures and could bar anyone from boarding its flights if it is deemed too high when France’s lockdown measures are eased on Monday.
  • Roy Horn, half of Las Vegas illusionist duo Siegfried and Roy, died of complications from the coronavirus. He was 75. 

With reporting by Órla Ryan

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