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Vaccine registration

The Covid-19 vaccine rollout has entered a new phase as another cohort can register for their jab.

People aged 59 can register online for a Covid-19 vaccine from today, while the HSE online portal will open to others aged 50-59 on a phased basis later this week.

HSE chief executive Paul Reid said clarity would be provided to other age groups on when they can expect a vaccine in due course.

Vaccine rollout plan

Ireland's revised Covid vaccination programme is set to proceed with a focus on older people, while any vaccines available will be used to keep up the rollout pace in the next two months.

Ministers and health officials have agreed that the same approach will be adopted for under-50s and over-50s, meaning people in their 40s could be offered AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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The HSE sent recommendations on changes to the country's vaccine rollout plan to Government, ahead of a Cabinet meeting today.

Restrictions ease

Some Covid-19 restrictions have eased today — the first of many to be eased this month under the Government's plan.

Nursing home residents can now see more visitors, while all remaining construction has also recommenced.

A further major easing of restrictions will take place on May 10th, when intercounty travel will resume, three households or six people will be able to meet outdoors, and a vaccine bonus will come into force.

Alcohol costs

The cost of alcohol will soon rise if the Government approves the implementation of minimum pricing.

A Government strategy for tackling harmful drinking went before Cabinet today, as Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly sought approval for the scheme that could see the price of a bottle of vodka increase by up to €7.

It is understood Mr Donnelly hopes to introduce minimum unit pricing in the coming months in order to "reduce the health harms of alcohol" by preventing the sale of strong alcohol products at very low prices.

Drogheda murder

Three men are still being questioned in connection with the murder of a teenager in Co Louth last year.

The men were arrested on Monday morning as part of an ongoing investigation, with one man already before the courts in relation to the killing.

The murder victim, who was a juvenile, cannot be named for legal reasons. In a statement Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, said his murder occurred in Drogheda in January last year.

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