There has been contact at ministerial level today between the Irish and British governments following the rising number of cases of the more infectious Delta variant in the UK.

The case numbers are being closely watched by the Government and senior sources have indicated that small changes to the current travel restrictions between UK and here could be considered.

Currently, people arriving here from Britain have to quarantine at home but they can exit that after five days if they get a second negative PCR test.

However, that five-day period could be possibly extended by several days - but no decisions have yet been taken on the matter.

Ministers are now likely to consult Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan on the issue.

There is a view in Government here that every week the Delta variant can be largely kept out of the State will boost the vaccination programme.

The final stage of lifting lockdown in England is set for 21 June, but there is growing concern about rising cases and the Delta variant.

An official announcement on the further lifting of restrictions in England is due on Monday. Downing Street has said no final decision has been made yet.

The Department of Health tonight added Uganda to the Mandatory Hotel Quarantine list, effective from 4am on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, 431 new cases of Covid-19 were reported today.

58 people are in hospital with the disease. 22 of them are in ICU, down one since yesterday.

Limited virus data is available as a result of last month's cyber attack on the Health Service Executive.

Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Oireachtas Transport and Communication Committee has called for the use of rapid antigen testing to be "part of the public health toolkit for Covid-19 alongside PCR testing".

Kieran O'Donnell TD said "along with PCR testing, rapid antigen testing has a positive role in the fight against the coronavirus, by detecting, reducing the risk of contracting and spreading of the virus".

He said "anything that helps to reduce the risks from the coronavirus must be embraced".

The Chief Medical Officer is to appear before the committee next week to discuss the science on rapid antigen testing in relation to aviation and travel.

Mr O'Donnell said: "This discussion is urgently needed, when we see the serious difficulties occurring in the airline industry here, with the latest being the Stobart's announcement today."

He added: "Currently, we are at a crossroads on testing methods for coronavirus and if we continue on the solely PCR testing road, rather than the road that allows both PCR and rapid antigen testing, we risk both inhibiting the economy recovery and moreover our capacity to reduce the risks from the virus itself."

In Northern Ireland, no further coronavirus deaths were reported but 107 new cases have been recorded.