The Department of Health has reported a further 3,685 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

On Twitter, the department said that as of 8am, 444 Covid-19 patients are in hospital, of whom 74 are in intensive care units.

There are 19 fewer people in hospital than at the same time yesterday, while the number in ICU is down two.

In Northern Ireland, 1,194 positive cases and six deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours.

Meanwhile, a consultant at Cork University Hospital has said she is concerned about rising Covid-19 cases, but is encouraged by the fact that hospital and ICU numbers are falling.

Prof Mary Horgan, a professor of infectious diseases, said it is too early to tell if that is a trend.

"We need to monitor things closely so we can get idea over the next week or two weeks if that is a peak or not," Dr Horgan said, adding that it is a very different picture than this time last year.

"We do have vaccinations, we have vaccine booster programme that's being rolled out as we speak, which is all encouraging, but it's the sum of everything we do that's important," she said.

"Masking, testing, it's not just one thing, it's the combination of these things that will get us through this winter."

Prof Horgan said Covid hospitalisations at CUH are holding steady.

She said she hopes Covid-19 numbers will start trending down in the coming weeks, but said everything about the disease is unpredictable.

The Chief Medical Officer has said if people are in an environment where they are not asked for their Covid-19 certificate, or where hand washing facilities are not present and mask wearing is not as it should be, they should feel empowered to leave.

His comments come following a study from the Economic and Social Research Institute which found that the percentage of people reporting that their Digital Covid Cert was not checked in pubs increased from 21% last month to 37%.