Cabinet is meeting to consider bringing in another lockdown
The Cabinet will meet this afternoon to consider bringing in full level five lockdown restrictions.
That would involve non-essential retail and gyms closing and travel limited to five kilometres from your home.
The ban on household visits, due to come in on New Year's Day, could also be brought forward.
It's after 1,546 new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday - a record daily figure.
To protect yourself & your loved ones please:
1. Stay at home – do not meet up with others
2. Don't go to work if you have any concerning symptoms - isolate and phone your GP
3. If you are identified as a close contact restrict your movements & get tested when it is offered3/3
— Dr Ronan Glynn (@ronan_glynn) December 29, 2020
Hospitalisations are also continuing to climb, with 454 COVID-19 patients in hospitals this morning - including 59 admissions in the last 24 hours.
Officials have warned that the vaccination programme which started yesterday won't have an impact on virus rates in the coming weeks.