The Department of Health has confirmed 1,706 new cases of Covid-19.

There are 347 people being treated for the virus in hospital, this is up 23 on yesterday's figures. Of these, there are 60 people being treated in intensive care, down one.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan has issued advice to the public as preparations are made for the schools to reopen.

In a statement released today, Dr Holohan said school "preparations are being made at a time when our country is experiencing a very high incidence of Covid-19".

"It is important to remember that our experience to date is that the school environment was not a major source of disease transmission and that school reopening did not have a significant effect on the incidence of Covid-19 in children.

"I am conscious of the considerable efforts already made by many families, parents and school staff so that schools can reopen.

"It is important that we continue to socialise safely and continue to adhere to the public health measures we are all so familiar with and that our schools have successfully implemented ... wash hands or use hand sanitiser, wear a mask if this is what is recommended in your school environment, keep your distance and avoid crowds," said Dr Holohan.

In Northern Ireland, 1,225 positive cases of Covid-19 and nine deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours.

A number of emergency departments in Northern Ireland are under "extreme pressure", it has been warned. The public have been urged to consider alternatives, such as contacting GPs or pharmacies, if their condition is not urgent.

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Meanwhile, the Minister for Transport has said that public transport will return to 100% capacity next week.

Public transport is currently operating at 75% capacity under the Covid-19 restrictions.

Speaking on RTE's This Week, Eamon Ryan said there would be a series of phased relaxations of restrictions for the month of September starting with public transport.

Separately, the Department of Health has said that the mandatory hotel quarantine system will continue to operate for as long as is considered necessary, although arrivals from just seven countries are now required to enter the system.

New figures show that more than 10,000 people have entered the system since it began five months ago.

Mandatory Hotel Quarantine was introduced here in late March to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has said it is questionable if the Mandatory Hotel Quarantine system is viable at this point.