Video: Cyberattack latest, Covid vaccine age limits and reopening

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HSE/Department of Health cyberattack

The Department of Health is the victim of a cyberattack, similar to the one that struck the Health Service Executive on Friday.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said it will cost “tens of millions” to “fix” the health service's network system impacted by last week’s attack.

It comes as the HSE’s chief operating officer Anne O’Connor has said that it was not possible to guarantee that people’s private medical information would not be shared on the internet by those behind the attack.

Retail reopening

Thousands of retailers have reopened their doors to customers after almost five months of closure, as hundreds of shoppers descended on Dublin’s O’Connell Street and Henry Street on Monday morning.

Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, said retailers were hopeful of a significant summer trade bounce of around €800 million. Sales over the next month are expected to be 40 per cent higher than pre-pandemic times, due to pent-up consumer demand.

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Last week was the busiest of the year for taxi app Free Now, as lockdown restrictions eased across Ireland. Sunday morning between 1am and 2am was the busiest hour of the week, with almost two requests every second.

August is the earliest the country could see a return to international travel, according to the Tánaiste.

Covid vaccine registration

Ireland's Covid-19 vaccine registration portal is expected to open for those aged in their 40s later this week.

Chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, said the age group would receive communication later this week regarding their registration.

He emphasised that the vaccine rollout was continuing “at pace” and that registration on the portal was safe following a cyberattack on the health service's IT systems.

Vaccine age limits

The age limit for the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in Ireland could now be reduced from 50 to 40 years old, according to a senior HSE official.

HSE chief clinical officer Dr Colm Henry said the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) had recommended the consideration of the use of the two vaccines in those aged 40-49 "with some conditions".

Dr Henry said Niac had sent new advice to the Government over the weekend and that a final decision would be announced soon.

Courts

A care worker who transported more than €600,000 in cash should "devote herself" to her son after she was given a fully suspended sentence by the Special Criminal Court this morning.

Separately, a man who was previously acquitted by direction of IRA membership has been found guilty by the Special Criminal Court of disrupting the garda investigation into the "execution-type" murder of dissident republican Peter Butterly.

Finally, a man who conned hundreds of thousands of euro out of two elderly women – including the life-savings of one – by telling them a series of “sob stories” has been jailed for five years.

Ryanair losses

Ryanair has reported a full year loss of €815 million as traffic fell 81 per cent, from 149 million passengers to 27.5 million due to the pandemic.

But the Ireland-based low-cost airline said in a statement it expects to benefit from a “strong rebound of pent up travel demand” through the second half of 2021.

Airline passengers will be hit by price hikes next year, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has warned.

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