The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has asked employers to facilitate their staff to work from home wherever possible at this "critical time" in the ongoing fight against Covid-19. 

"Christmas and New Year have passed and the vast majority of people are now back at work," Leo Varadkar said in a statement today.

"We are now in the middle of a third wave of the virus and the increase in infections, hospitalisations and numbers in ICU is extremely concerning," Mr Varadkar said in a statement today.

Mr Varadkar said he was asking employers to encourage and accommodate their employees to stay at home unless they are essential workers. 

"I want to urge everyone who can work from home to do so. I recognise that this will be more difficult for some more than others and I trust that employers will once again show understanding and support their workers in the transition," he said. 

"The increase in cases that we are seeing is beyond anything any of our models predicted. We need to get case numbers down now and urgently flatten the curve to protect our most vulnerable and ensure our hospitals can continue to provide the best care to those that need it," the Tánaiste said.