The Department of Health has been notified of 360 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.

In a post on Twitter, it also confirmed that daily case numbers may change due to future data validation.

The number of people who have died with the disease has not been published since the HSE and the Department of Health were subjected to a cyber attack last Friday.

The number of people with coronavirus in ICU is 42, unchanged since yesterday. There are 110 Covid patients in hospital.

Also today, strict conditions are being introduced on the use of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines in people aged between 40 and 49, RTÉ News confirmed.

It will mean people in this age cohort will have a choice to accept those vaccines, or wait for an mRNA vaccine, like Pfizer or Moderna.

The J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines will only be permitted to be used if an mRNA vaccine is not available at the time of vaccination.

People must be given a choice at that time on what vaccine to accept, with fully-informed consent.

The HSE is assessing the impact of the strict conditions and what it will mean for the operation of the vaccination programme.

It expects to start vaccinations for this group of people later this month.

Professor of Immunology at Maynooth University Paul Moynagh said the use of the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines in people aged between 40 and 49 will provide the vaccination programme with "greater flexibility and capacity".

Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, he said: "I think it's positive in that it gives us more possibilities with respect to the vaccines that we have available to us."

Prof Moynagh reiterated that the risks of clotting events are "very rare".

"The European Medicines Agency (EMA) who we have entrusted in terms of licensing of these vaccines to continue to articulate their stance that the benefits outweigh the risks across all the age groups and that applies to those in her 40s as well."

The European Medicines Agency today approved more flexible storage conditions for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to help with the roll-out of vaccination in Ireland and other EU countries.

Meanwhile, non-essential retail has opened for the first time in over four months as a further easing of coronavirus restrictions continues.

It comes as a new survey found that more than three quarters of businesses are planning to return employees to their workplaces within the next three months if Government guidelines allow.

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