Video: April 15th three-minute evening news update

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Over 18,000 people had signed up to the HSE's online vaccination portal just hours after it opened up to 69-year-olds this morning.

Speaking at the weekly HSE Covid-19 briefing, chief executive Paul Reid said people aged 60 to 64 will be able to register for vaccines “well before the end of April”.

250,000 people aged between 16 and 59 in Cohort 4 will be vaccinated at centres, by community vaccine teams and GPs.

The vaccine portal opened at 10am and Mr Reid said 95 per cent registered online, with five per cent registering by phone.

Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has defended Ireland's hotel quarantine system, saying it is necessary to keep out variants of concern.

The Minister told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show that he had spoken to his brother Patrick, chief executive of Greencore, who recently criticised mandatory hotel quarantine in a tweet.


Minister Coveney declined to reveal what he had said to his brother, but said that in a democracy everyone had a right to express their point of view. He said he did not agree with his brother and felt that mandatory health quarantine was necessary to shield the country from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, the State’s top health experts are concerned there has been a “major shift” to home drinking during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Health Research Board (HRB) is particularly worried about the impact on children of an increase in parental drinking.

A major 175-page study also details the worsening impact alcohol is now having on Irish people compared to the 1990s.

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