Digital Desk Staff
More than 150 passengers have departed Morocco for Ireland on a repatriation flight organised by the Government.
The 156 passengers on the flight from Marrakech to Dublin included Irish citizens as well as citizens of several other EU countries and the UK.
As The Irish Times reports, the journey was organised after flights to and from Morocco were suspended earlier this week until at least December 13th, amid fears over the spread of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant.
The repatriation flight on Saturday was operated on behalf of the Government by Ryanair.
Responding to news of the flight’s departure, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney hailed the efforts of the Irish Embassy in Rabat in the operation, tweeting: “Well done and thank you!”
Slán abhaile! ?Wheels now up on an Irish Government repatriation flight from Morocco. 156 passengers are bound for Dublin this evening including citizens from many of our closest partners ??????????????????. Great job by @irlembrabat pic.twitter.com/scQqSS6CWu
— Irish Foreign Ministry (@dfatirl) December 4, 2021
Meanwhile, the number of Covid patients in hospital has fallen to 487, the lowest level in almost four weeks, the latest official figures show. The number of Covid patients in hospital fell by 41 between Friday and Saturday. There were 5,622 further cases of Covid-19 reported on Saturday.
Tweeting about the latest hospital figures on Saturday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the “plan is working – 3rd doses, masks, test & isolate, physical distancing. Thank you for what you are doing. Please don’t lose heart. Let’s all have a safe Christmas.”
Meanwhile, waiting times for a Covid booster vaccine were up an hour at Citywest in Dublin on Saturday morning, the HSE said. Boosters are currently being offered to healthcare workers and those aged 60-69 at various walk-in centres across the State. The total number of booster vaccines administered so far is 913,670.
The figures come as the Government on Friday announced its most wide-ranging introduction of new restrictions this year after “stark” warnings from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) to take immediate action in the face of the threat from the Omicron variant.
From Tuesday until at least January 9th, indoor hospitality will be limited to parties of up to six adults per table, while nightclubs will be closed and indoor events limited to half a venue’s capacity.