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Latest figures Coronavirus Ireland: 1,071 further Covid-19 cases confirmed and 101 patients in hospital

The surge is due to the Delta variant, which health experts believe is two times more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus

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HSE paramedic Andrew Connaughton conducts a Covid swab on Charlotte Lynch, at the HSE walk-in Covid test centre at Castletown House in Celbridge (Picture: Frank McGrath)

HSE paramedic Andrew Connaughton conducts a Covid swab on Charlotte Lynch, at the HSE walk-in Covid test centre at Castletown House in Celbridge (Picture: Frank McGrath)

HSE paramedic Andrew Connaughton conducts a Covid swab on Charlotte Lynch, at the HSE walk-in Covid test centre at Castletown House in Celbridge (Picture: Frank McGrath)

A further 1,071 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed by the Department of Health today as hospitalisations continue to rise.

There are now 101 Covid-19 patients in hospital and 20 in ICU. This is 10 more coronavirus patients in hospital than was reported yesterday and two less in intensive care.

The surge is due to the Delta variant, which health experts believe is two times more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus.

As non-essential foreign travel resumes today, fears are rising over a Delta surge engulfing Ireland.

More than 4,700 cases have been reported here over the past four days, and it has been warned that travel, particularly from the UK, could see a further surge in cases.

The country’s 14-day incidence rate is the highest it’s been since February 24 at 231 cases per 100,000 population.

The five-day average is 1,159 cases per day, which is the highest it’s been since February 2.

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan has warned that cases will likely rise as the warm weather continues.

“While we continue to enjoy the good weather, we are unfortunately also continuing to see a rise in incidence of disease across all key indicators,” he said.

"If you are fully vaccinated, you can have confidence in your vaccine and enjoy socialising and meeting with other vaccinated people indoors, so long as you continue to follow the basic public health precautions.

"If you are waiting to be fully vaccinated, then it is best to continue to socialise outdoors.

“Events like barbecues, meeting in a park or going to the beach can be enjoyed safely once we do our best to minimise the risks of transmission – only meet in small groups, wash or sanitise your hands regularly, don’t share utensils and wear a face mask where appropriate. If you are meeting indoors, ensure that the room is well ventilated.”

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Regardless of whether someone has had a vaccine or not, if they experience symptoms of Covid-19 Dr Holohan said they should not attend any social event.

"If you have planned to attend a social event, and you experience symptoms of COVID-19, including symptoms of seasonal cold and flu such as headache, sore throat, runny nose; please stay at home, do not attend that event,” he said.

“This applies regardless of your vaccination status. Let your close contacts know how you feel, self-isolate and get tested. It can be tempting to defer getting a test but as soon as you experience symptoms, the best way to protect yourself and others is to arrange one straight away.”

From today non-essential travel is permitted in Ireland, while England is opening up for its so-called ‘Freedom Day’.

The move by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will see mandatory mask-wearing dropped, nightclubs reopen and limits on the number of people a person can meet indoors ceasing.

Yesterday the UK recorded more than 48,000 cases of Covid-19.

Around 10pc of new Covid-19 cases in Ireland are related to travel since the end of June, as people started returning to EU holiday spots such as Spain and Portugal.

Niamh O’Beirne, the HSE’s national lead for testing and tracing, said: “We are seeing an increased number of people with a travel history in the last 14 days, particularly from some of the holiday locations in Europe.

“We have also got about 10pc of cases now which have a travel history,” she told Newstalk’s On the Record.

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