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Today’s news headlines: Hospitals bracing for Covid spike ahead of reopening deadline; and Facebook set to create 10,000 jobs

Here are all of today’s top news stories from Independent.ie.

Hospitals fear surge in patients if restrictions are eased

Hospitals are bracing for a spike in people being hospitalised with Covid-19 as Nphet meets today to discuss the easing of restrictions.

The Indo Daily – The Rocky Road to ‘Freedom’ – will Covid restrictions be lifted?

Facebook set to create 10,000 jobs as it starts to build a ‘metaverse’

Facebook is to create 10,000 jobs across Ireland and Europe. The move will add to the 6,000 people the company already employs in Dublin, Meath and Cork.

Principals warn that whole classes could be sent home over substitutes shortage

Primary schools will be forced to send classes home if difficulties finding substitute cover are not resolved quickly, a principals’ leader has warned.

Video: Man goes viral for paying off ex-girlfriend’s mortgage for her birthday

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Inside the quarantine lab where Irish company infects humans with Covid

A look inside the 19-bed quarantine facility where volunteers take part in human challenge studies – specialist clinical trials where people are infected with a virus or bacteria to see how they respond to experimental vaccines or treatments.

Majestic Rory McIlroy secures 20th PGA Tour victory in Las Vegas

Ireland’s Rory McIlroy has won the CJ Cup in Las Vegas, shooting a last round of six-under 66 to win by a stroke from American Collin Morikawa.

Toys, Christmas trees and electronics added to ‘hard to get’ list as global supplies buckle

The advice from retailers is “order early but prepare to wait” as bottlenecks in the British port of Felixstowe – and around the world – put pressure on deliveries here.

Bank of Ireland offering a rock-bottom interest rate of 2pc for green mortgages

Green mortgages are now being offered by a number of lenders and the rates are lower than conventional home-loan rates.

Study finds ethnic pay gap in Irish higher education

A higher proportion of staff from ethnic minority backgrounds are on less than €60,000 a year when compared with white Irish or white ‘Other’ colleagues.

Phelan firm sued over $23m trade deal dispute

An energy company headed by former PayPal boss Louise Phelan is being sued in London’s High Court by Australia’s Macquarie bank in a $23m (€20m) dispute over foreign exchange deals.

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