June 18, 2021

LATEST: No further deaths and 14 new cases of virus, pandemic payment recipients now free to travel to ‘green list’ countries

There have been no further deaths, but 14 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed this evening.

It means the overall death toll as a result of the virus remains at 1,764. There are now 25,942 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

The number of cases in Kilkenny remains the same at 713, around three per cent of the overall total.

The latest national cases were confirmed as Government was forced to take another u-turn – this time in relation to the clampdown on people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) found to be travelling abroad.

Earlier it was confirmed that around 2,500 PUP claims by people who were found to be travelling outside of the country have been stopped.

The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys, told the Dáil more than 90% of these were people who were no longer resident in the country.

Following a backlash, Minister Humphreys confirmed she will sign a regulation that will allow people receiving the PUP and Jobseeker’s Allowance to travel to green list countries without having their payments halted.

The minister also said she has directed her department to review all cases so far where people who went on holiday had their payment stopped.

She admitted the Government could have communicated “more effectively” and said the cases of all those who have already travelled for holidays will be reviewed.

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