Video: April 21st three-minute evening news update

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Video: April 21St Three-Minute Evening News Update
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Summer holidays

Summer holidays abroad have been ruled out for the immediate future, although the Minister for Foreign Affairs has hinted at the possibility of allowing non-essential international travel in the coming months.

Simon Coveney warned any change in advice would be gradual but said there is "good news on the horizon" as international travel restrictions may ease over the summer.

The message for the moment remains that all but essential journeys should be avoided.

Vaccine developments

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) will meet tomorrow to consider a recommendation on the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, after a possible link was found between it and rare blood clotting issues in adults who had received the shot in the United States.

It is likely Niac will approve the use of the vaccine in Ireland with the provision of an age limit, according to one senior medic.

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Meanwhile, the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said he fears Covid-19 vaccine “apathy” in Ireland more than vaccine hesitancy.

Reopening plans

Government Ministers have signalled they want as wide a reopening as possible in May, as the State’s vaccination programme continues to suffer from supply shortfalls and restrictions on the use of jabs.

The Cabinet has agreed to proceed as planned with the further gradual easing of a number of restrictions from Monday, including the reopening of facilities for outdoor sports such as golf and tennis, and outdoor visitor attractions such as zoos and heritage sites.

An announcement on the further easing of restrictions is expected at the end of next week, as Covid-19 figures continue to move in the right direction.

Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse is to close more than 80 stores in the Republic, with the loss of almost 500 jobs.

Staff have been informed of the decision, which had been expected in recent days, and the company’s website has also been shut down, effective immediately.

In a statement, parent company Dixons Carphone blamed changes in how people are shopping for the decision, saying it was “a necessary step” in the company’s mobile transformation.

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