The Government is to seek the advice of the Attorney General on planned new laws that would give gardaí greater powers to enforce Covid-19-related restrictions on social gatherings.
It follows a decision by the Cabinet yesterday to introduce stronger enforcement, particularly relating to gatherings in private homes.
In its advice to Government published last night, the National Public Health Emergency Team said the majority, or 172 out of 290 outbreaks, are located in private houses.
It said gardaí should be given any powers necessary to interrupt and prevent house parties.
The Cabinet also agreed that new powers should be given to gardaí so that pubs that are clearly disregarding public health guidelines could be immediately closed.
It said this could have a detrimental effect on the solidarity and sense of fairness that has underpinned the national effort to date.
In an interview on RTÉ's Prime Time last night, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the strict new measures aimed at suppressing Covid-19 were necessary to "avoid a full national lockdown".
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New laws will now be drafted in consultation with the Attorney General and will require approval by the Dáil, which is not due to meet until 15 September.
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties said it would not support expanding the powers of enforcement for gardaí, saying the Government should educate and communicate with people, rather than using coercion and force.
The Cabinet agreed a number of new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus, which are now in effect and will remain in place until 13 September, at the earliest.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the country is not at a stage where we can return to normality, adding that "we are at another critical moment".
"Now as much as ever before, we must remember our responsibilities to each other."
Under the new measures all visits to homes will be limited to six people from outside the home, from no more than three households and applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
People over 70 are advised to limit their interactions to a small network, avoid public transport, and shop during designated hours.
All outdoor events and gatherings will be limited to 15 people, down from 200 and indoor events will be reduced from 50 people to just six people, except for businesses such as shops and restaurants.
The Department of Health was notified of 190 new cases of Covid-19 and one more person has died.
The total number of Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland is now 1,775 and there have been 27,503 cases.
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in hospital remains relatively stable, according to overnight figures from the Health Service Executive.
There are 20 confirmed cases of the virus in hospital, down two from earlier yesterday. Seven of these patients are in intensive care.
There are also 137 suspected cases being treated in hospital, a reduction from 212 earlier yesterday.
Four of these suspected cases are in intensive care. Overall, the hospital system has 31 vacant intensive care beds.
The World Health Organization says data to date suggests 80% of Covid-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation.
Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person and within two metres of them, to be considered at-risk, or a close contact.