The Department of Health has reported 294 new coronavirus cases, while the number of people with the virus being treated in intensive care is unchanged at 13.

Amid the disruption caused by the cyber attack on the HSE's system, the number of cases may change due to future data validation.

Meanwhile, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid has said that 22 hospitals have either one or no Covid-19 cases.

However, in a posting on social media, he said that due to the impact of the cyber attack, hospitals were under significant challenge with increased emergency department attendances.

Earlier, the Cabinet agreed to purchase nearly three million Moderna and Janssen vaccines for use next year.

The Minister for Health requested approval to buy 1.8m doses of Moderna and 1.1m Janssen for delivery in 2022.

Those figures are in addition to 4.9m Pfizer already pre-purchased for 2022 and a further 4.9m for 2023.

Ministers also heard that today it is likely that large numbers of booster vaccines will be required later this year and into next year.

Plan remains for non-essential international travel to resume from 19 July

Minister of State Ossian Smyth has said that while there is no guarantee that international travel will reopen on 19 July, the plan remains that non-essential travel abroad can resume from that date.

There is an element of risk in travelling, he said, because the rules may change and a new variant could emerge at any time.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Mr Smyth said the plan is that non-essential travel can reopen next month.

However, he warned: "We can't guarantee that at the moment, that's what is in the plan, but looking at what has been happening in the United Kingdom with the Delta variant and the fact that the British did have to delay their full reopening by a month, there is still risk attached and no guarantee can be given about that date, but that's the current plan."


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The Minister of State for Public Procurement and eGovernment said if there is no major outbreak of the Delta variant here and cases numbers stay down then the Government will be in a position to reopen international travel.

He said that from next month, those travelling within the EU can use a Digital Covid Certificate, a PCR negative test certificate issued within three days, or a certificate of recovery for those who have had Covid-19 in the past nine months.

Mr Smyth said for those who are not fully vaccinated and need a PCR test certificate to travel abroad, they must be tested by a private lab at their own cost.

He said if a person gets a test through being a close contact, for example, this cannot be used for the PCR certificate to travel.

The minister said the HSE test facilities are focused on public health purposes and not for travel.

Healthcare spending increased in 2020 due to Covid-19

Covid-19 caused a dramatic increase in healthcare expenditure during 2020 according to official health spending figures published by the Central Statistics Office.

The data shows that paying for the healthcare aspects of the pandemic alone cost the exchequer €2.4 billion during the ten-month period from the start of March to the end of December.

The Government's Covid hub shows there were 91,779 confirmed cases of the virus during that period, with 6,312 hospitalised and 734 admitted to Intensive Care.

It also shows that 1,041 Covid patients died in hospital, 15% of them in ICU.

The CSO data shows it cost the exchequer €315 million to treat Covid-19 patients, another €215 million for testing and contact tracing, and €915 million for personal protective equipment, swab kits, and ventilators for patients.

A total of 2.4 million COVID-19 tests were completed during 2020.

Additional reporting Sandra Hurley and George Lee