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Health department plans to release a revised vaccine roll-out plan; bookings at quarantine hotels have been halted

DUBLIN: Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced yesterday evening that bookings at mandatory quarantine hotels have been halted.

The government expected passengers to book their hotel online before departure. But with hundreds of people arriving in Dublin for with ‘walk-ins’, the hotel facilities were at maximum. As a result, the government was forced to pause quarantine hotel bookings.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Six One News, the Minister Stephen Donnelly said that bookings have been suspended as a precautionary measure until capacity is confirmed.

At present, the government has set up just 650 rooms. A total of 960 rooms will be available from next Monday, Donnelly said.

Mr. Donnelly said that there was still a high number of walk-ins, which should not be happening.

While many airlines do not allow people without bookings to board flights, the health minister said the problems were due to some companies ignoring such government directives. The minister said that Minister Eamon Ryan had informed the airlines of the strict instruction in this regard.

Change in vaccination program; decision will be taken at today’s cabinet meeting

Following concerns over the use of the AstraZeneca jab, Johnson & Johnson said the roll-out of its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe could be delayed even further. As a result, it is almost certain that Ireland’s vaccination program will not be implemented as planned.

Those receiving two separate doses of the Pfizer vaccine may soon see an official decision to extend the current interval.

Minister Donnelly also stated that the health department hopes to have a revised vaccination roll-out plan very shortly. The vaccination program is also expected to change. A final decision on this is likely to be taken at today’s cabinet meeting.

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