The Department of Health has confirmed that 459 people are in hospital with confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19, with 51 people in intensive care.

The number of new confirmed cases of the disease fell below 100 last night.

The deaths of 13 people were also announced.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health Simon Harris have both said the current public health advice, that people should stay two-metres away from each other, remained in force.

This comes despite calls to follow guidance from the World Health Organization and reduce it to one metre.

Mr Harris said the National Public Health Emergency team looked at all the evidence and advised the Government. He said this issue like others relating to Covid-19 was under constant review.

An expert panel established by the Department of Health to look at the measures needed for nursing homes will begin work next week and report back to the Minister at the end of June.

He said this was a crucial part of planning for a disease that could be with us for at least the next 18 months.

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Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14% have severe disease and around 6% are critical.

Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person and within 2 metres of them, to be considered at-risk, or a close contact.