Video: April 28th three-minute lunchtime news update

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Video: April 28Th Three-Minute Lunchtime News Update
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Reopening plans

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is meeting today to consider advice on the next phase of reopening society.

The reopening of non-essential retail, personal services, more outdoor sports and religious services in May are all being examined.

A formal announcement on the reopening plans will be made on Thursday evening, with it expected that the Government will also set out plans for June and July.

Ireland will be in a “very good position by June” in terms of its Covid-19 vaccine rollout, the Taoiseach has said.

Outdoor socialising

Leo Varadkar has said the Irish public should be “less puritanical” about people meeting and socialising outdoors as Covid-19 restrictions lift.

The Tánaiste said the Government's objective is “to avoid there being a fourth wave this side of autumn or winter, and perhaps avoid it altogether”.

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He added: “It is much, much safer outdoors than indoors. The chances of contracting the virus outdoors is much less than indoors.”

Vaccine changes

Ireland is still on track to offer a first Covid-19 vaccine dose to over 80 per cent of the population by the end of June, according to the Minister for Health.

The HSE is redrawing its vaccination programme to include a more rapid rollout in the coming weeks.

Senior officials say the availability of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and the easing of restrictions on AstraZeneca, will enable the programme to make up for lost ground and reach its June goal.

Arlene Foster leadership

Arlene Foster’s position as DUP leader appears under threat after an internal party push against the North's First Minister.

It is understood a significant number of elected representatives have signed a letter of no confidence in Mrs Foster that has been circulated among party MLAs, MPs and peers.

Mrs Foster has attempted to downplay the scale of the internal revolt, which comes amid mounting discontent among the party faithful over her leadership.

Dame Street assault

A woman in her 30s has been hospitalised with serious injuries after she was assaulted on Dublin’s Dame Street.

The assault took place on the city centre street during the early hours of Sunday, between 4am and 5am.

The woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries, where she remained as of Tuesday evening.

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