Spectators are set to return to sporting events on a trial basis in July, alongside groups of up to six being permitted for indoor dining during the same month, under plans being considered by the Government.
The relaxation of restrictions was outlined by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste at Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael parliamentary party meetings on Wednesday night. Without specifying crowd sizes, Micheál Martin told Fianna Fáil TDs and Senators that plans to trial spectators at outdoor sports events in July was informed by the experience of the EU and the UK.
He also flagged that Ireland would be part of EU travel plans, with the intention to restore connectivity as soon as it is safe to do so.
Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar told his parliamentary party that indoor dining could return in July with six people to a table, contact details taken and allowances made for the size of venues. He said a decision would be taken next month.
It comes as the Government prepares to discuss extensions and adjustments to key business and wage supports. The Cabinet subcommittee on economic recovery, chaired by the Tánaiste, will on Thursday meet to discuss the future of multibillion-euro subsidies due to expire this summer.
The National Economic Recovery Plan will also be on the agenda. Additional supports for severely impacted business sectors will also be considered as part of the discussions, which are preliminary.
Sources emphasised that there would be no “cliff edge” to the schemes, and the intention is that they will stay in place to allow businesses to recover, especially those which are closed or restricted, and to allow employment to recover.
However, senior sources also said the programmes could not stay in place indefinitely, especially as firms reopen fully under a hoped-for permanent easing of Covid restrictions.
Discussions are expected to focus on plans for the second half of the year for supports such as the commercial rates waiver, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).
However, any restructuring of the schemes would have to be weighed against uncertainty over the wider epidemiological situation, sources said.
Elsewhere, the Government continues to consider a new plan to offer the AstraZeneca and Johnson &Johnson vaccines to those under 50.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said advice on the use of the vaccines indicated they could be used in this way. Discussions on the plan are underway, and he said he expects to have proposals to be considered by Government this week.
Anmeldebescheinigung: How to get Austria’s crucial residence document for EU citizens
The EU’s freedom of movement enables citizens to move to another country in the bloc relatively easily, but there are still some conditions you need to meet.
As a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Norway or Switzerland, you have the right to live in Austria for more than three months as long as you meet one of the following criteria:
- Being employed or self-employed in Austria
- Studying at a recognised Austrian institution
- Having sufficient financial means to support yourself
As well as fulfilling one of these conditions, you also need valid health insurance for Austria.
If you are working legally in Austria, you will have this automatically, either through the Österreichische Gesundheitskasse (ÖGK) if you are employed by a company or through the Sozialversicherungsanstalt der Selbständigen (SVS) if you are self-employed.
As a student or self-supporting person, you will instead need to find your own comprehensive health insurance policy; your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) might be sufficient for students who aren’t in Austria long-term, but this doesn’t cover all medical visits so it is generally worth getting a separate health insurance policy.
When you arrive in Austria, you need to register your residence within three days, and at this point you will receive a Meldebestätigung (proof of residence). However, the process of getting your registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinugung) does not happen automatically after the initial registration.
You need to submit your application for the Anmeldebescheinigung within four months of your arrival in Austria, and you do this in person at your local MA35 office, the government department responsible for immigration and citizenship matters.
You need to make an appointment to attend the office in person.
If you live in Austria for five continuous years as an EU/EEA citizen, you automatically receive the right of permanent residence. You do not need to apply for any specific document to prove this or to continue living in Austria, but if you want to, you can apply for a certificate of permanent residence.
The documents you’ll need are the following (it’s a good idea to bring both the original and a copy):
- Valid ID or passport
- A completed Anmeldebescheingung form: Most of the details here are simple to fill out. You’ll need your personal information (name, date of birth, parents’ names, marital status), your current residential address, and to note which of the criteria for residence you meet and which company you have health insurance with. You can fill out the form before your visit, but you usually sign it when you have your in-person appointment, not before.
- Proof of employment or self-employment if you’re working: This would be a work contract for employees, while self-employed workers can show their tax number, trade licence if applicable, contracts with clients, and/or other proof of your business.
- Proof of studies if you’re studying: This could be a certificate of enrolment, and you may also need to show proof that your place of study is accredited. Your university’s student office should be able to help you get the documents you need.
- Proof of sufficient funds and health insurance if you are either studying or self-supporting: This includes your insurance certificate, and proof of your bank balance or pension statements for example. Students who are being supported by their parents should be able to show confirmation from their parents of a monthly allowance.
- Your proof of residence in Austria (Meldebestätigung)
Your documents will need to be in either German or English, so documents in other languages need to be translated by an authorized translator.
Getting the certificate costs €15, and there may be additional fees depending on which foreign documents you provide. Not getting it is potentially more expensive though (not to mention illegal) as you could face a fine of up to €250.
Brendan Kennelly, one the country’s most popular poets, dies aged 85
Family members confirmed his death on Sunday evening at Áras Mhuire nursing home, Listowel, in his native Co Kerry.
He graduated from Trinity College, wrote his PhD thesis there, and went on to become professor of modern literature at the university.
Mr Kennelly had more than 30 poetry collections published, which captured the many shades and moods of his home county as well as his adopted Dublin home.
He was also a popular broadcaster and made many appearances on radio and television programmes, such as The Late Late Show.
[His poetry is] infused with the details and texture of life, its contradictions and moments of celebration including the wry experiences of football and politics
President Michael D Higgins, a friend of Mr Kennelly’s, said his poetry held “a special place in the affections of the Irish people”.
“As one of those who had the great fortune of enjoying the gift of friendship with Brendan Kennelly for many years, it is with great sadness that I have heard of his passing,” he said.
“As a poet, Brendan Kennelly had forged a special place in the affections of the Irish people. He brought so much resonance, insight, and the revelation of the joy of intimacy to the performance of his poems and to gatherings in so many parts of Ireland. He did so with a special charm, wit, energy and passion.”
He added that Mr Kennelly’s poetry is “infused with the details and texture of life, its contradictions and moments of celebration including the wry experiences of football and politics”.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the country has lost a “great teacher, poet, raconteur; a man of great intelligence and wit”.
He added: “The Irish people loved hearing his voice and reading his poetry.”
He spoke the language of the people. We loved his writing. His eloquence was masterful
Trinity College Dublin’s provost, Prof Linda Doyle, said Mr Kennelly was known to generations of Trinity students as a great teacher and as a warm and encouraging presence on campus.
“His talent for, and love of, poetry came through in every conversation as did his good humour. We have all missed him on campus in recent years as illness often kept him in his beloved Kerry. He is a loss to his much loved family, Trinity and the country,” she said.
Tony Guerin, a close friend of Kennelly’s, and a playwright, said he will be remembered in Kerry and elsewhere as “the people’s poet”.
“My relation with Brendan was one of friendship. There are more scholarly people who will assess his contribution and discuss those matters. But he spoke the language of the people. We loved his writing. His eloquence was masterful, whether it was the written word or being interviewed by Gay Byrne,” he said.
Mr Kennelly is survived by his brothers, Alan, Paddy and Kevin, by his sisters, Mary Kenny and Nancy McAuliffe, and his three grandchildren.
His daughter Doodle Kennelly died earlier this year.
Arrangements for a family funeral are expected to be announced shortly.
New skeleton find could reveal more about Vesuvius eruption
The remains of a man presumed to be aged 40-45 were found under metres of volcanic rock roughly where Herculaneum’s shoreline used to be, before Vesuvius’ explosion in 79 AD pushed it back by 500 metres (1,640 feet).
He was lying down, facing inland, and probably saw death in the face as he was overwhelmed by the molten lava that buried his city, the head of the Herculaneum archaeological park, Francesco Sirano, told the ANSA news agency.
“He could have been a rescuer”, Sirano suggested.
As Vesuvius erupted, a naval fleet came to the rescue, led by the ancient Roman scholar and commander Pliny the Elder. He died on the shore, but it is believed that his officers managed to evacuate hundreds of survivors.
The skeleton might have otherwise belonged to “one of the fugitives” who was trying to get on one of the lifeboats, “perhaps the unlucky last one of a group that had managed to sail off,” Sirano suggested.
It was found covered by charred wood remains, including a beam from a building that may have smashed his skull, while his bones appear bright red, possibly blood markings left as the victim was engulfed in the volcanic discharge.
Archaeologists also found traces of tissue and metal objects — likely the remains of personal belongings he was fleeing with: maybe a bag, work tools, or even weapons or coins, the head of the archaeological park said.
Other human remains have been found in and around Herculaneum in the past decades — including a skull held in a Rome museum that some attribute to Pliny — but the latest discovery can be investigated with more modern techniques.
“Today we have the possibility of understanding more”, Sirano said.
Researchers believe that in Herculaneum temperatures rose up to 500 degrees — enough to vaporise soft tissues. In a phenomenon that is poorly understood, a rapid drop in temperature ensued, helping preserve what remained.
Although much smaller than Pompeii, its better-known neighbour outside the southern city of Naples, Herculaneum was a wealthier town with more exquisite architecture, much of which is still to be uncovered.
READ ALSO: Where are Italy’s active volcanoes?
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