From a discouraging note for those planning summer holidays abroad to a reference to sinusitis frequently presenting as a symptom of Covid-19, here are six things we learned from this evening's Covid-19 briefing.

New hospital admissions are declining

There are 1,436 Covid-19 patients in hospital, with 207 in intensive care, which is down four from yesterday.

Professor Philip Nolan said the number of patients being treated in hospital has declined over the past two weeks and that the numbers in ICU have plateaued and are beginning to come down.

Professor Nolan expressed his concern at the plateau in case numbers and said that it is important to maintain individual efforts "in terms of reducing contacts, in working from home, and above all to maintain efforts around the basic measures of wearing a mask, keeping your distance and hand washing".

'People are acquiring this in their workplaces'

Deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn emphasised the importance of not going into your workplace unless it was essential.

He said that last week there was 29 outbreaks in work places of different settings and he said it was "becoming apparent is people are getting this in their workplaces."

He also said it is possible that people "may be letting their guard drop a little bit" and noted that this is particularly dangerous due to the increased transmissability of new strains of the virus.

"Every time we now drop our guard, it's likely to have graver consequences now than it would’ve a few months ago," he said.

Summer holidays abroad are not recommended

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has said that he foresees another summer without non-essential foreign travel.

"I don't think we’re headed for a summer where millions of people can be expecting to go to beaches other than in their own localities," he said.

"I don’t think it’s realistic to foresee a summer that would be characterised by things we would all like to do, where we would travel off to Europe for holidays."

He emphasised that NPHET’s advice is against all forms of non-essential travel for the forseeable future. 

Zero Covid seen as impractical

Dr Holohan said the NPHET strategy is not dramatically different to what is proposed by campaigners for a Zero Covid island, but there are some important differences.

He stressed the interconnectedness that is an essential element of the European Union and highlighted the shared border on the island of Ireland.

'A lot of sinusitis does seem to be Covid' 

Dr Siobháin Ní Bhriain told the briefing that they are seeing a lot more people presenting with sinusitis than usual.

She added that many are then testing positive for Covid-19. 

She said GPs are referring people for tests if they have any respiratory problems, including sinusitis, and that if you are feeling in any way unwell or experience any symptoms, to get in touch with your GP and they will be able to offer you advice and arrange a test if necessary.

On Long Covid, Dr Ní Bhriain also noted that some of the symptoms people are presenting with include mental health issues.

Five-day moving average of cases is 1,288 per day 

The Department of Health has been notified of ten further coronavirus-related deaths and 1,062 confirmed cases. 

The number of people who have died with Covid-19 is now 3,317, while the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 197,553. 

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn announced that the five-day moving average of cases is at 1,288 new cases per day.

The 14-day national incidence rate is at 479 cases per 100,000 of the population.