The Minister for Health has said his Department is preparing options for Government on how to restrict non-essential travel from countries outside the European Union and UK that have high rates of Covid-19. 

In a tweet this morning, Stephen Donnelly said he was concerned about high rates of the disease in some places and he said the options would be finalised "as soon as possible". 

Mr Donnelly said travel-related cases remained small but the risk was increasing.  

Once his department has finalised the proposals they would be presented to Government for discussion, he said.

Speaking on Friday evening, when an announcement was made that restrictions were being reintroduced for three counties due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, Mr Donnelly had said that the Government was "investigating measures" around non-essential international travel.

Last month the Government published a Green List for international travel. People returning from the countries on the list do not have to restrict their movements for a 14-day period.

Last week five destinations - Malta, Cyprus, Gibraltar, San Marino and Monaco - were removed from the list.

People who arrive in to Ireland from countries not on the list have to restrict their movements.

The National Public Health Emergency Team advice remains against all non-essential foreign travel, regardless of whether a country is on the green list or not.

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Separately, there are 14 people in hospital with confirmed cases of Covid-19, six of whom are in intensive care.

There are also 116 patients in hospital with suspected Covid-19. Nine of those patients are in intensive care.

The Mater Hospital, as well as Kilkenny, Tallaght and Limerick hospitals have two confirmed cases each.

Beaumont, Cavan, Drogheda, Mullingar, Naas and Portinuncula hospitals each have one patient with a confirmed case of the virus. 

Yesterday, a further 174 additional cases of Covid-19 were confirmed by the Department of Health.

One more death was also confirmed, bringing the the death toll here to 1,772.

It was the first time that case numbers have risen above 100 since Friday 22 May, when 115 people were confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus.