The Department of Health has said a further eight people have died following a diagnosis of Covid-19 in Ireland.

It brings the overall death toll here to 1,703.

A further eight additional cases were also notified to the department, bringing the total 25,238.

Of the deaths, 721 (42.3%) occurred in hospital settings and 85 (5%) in an intensive care setting.

There are currently 28 people in intensive care with Covid-19 and 86 in hospital beds overall.

There have been no new Covid-19 admissions to hospital in the last 24 hours.

The chair of the Epidemiological Modelling Group advising the National Public Health Emergency Team has said that the Covid-19 situation here is "stable or declining".

"On average this week we have had 14 new cases a day, compared to 50 this time last week," Professor Philip Nolan said.

Prof Nolan said "almost zero" cases are now occurring day by day and he said that Ireland was following "an effective strategy", but he said the notion of the absolute elimination of the virus was not practical.

Professor Philip Nolan said the number of people in hospital is also declining and the amount of testing being done is "far outstripping the prevalence of the disease".

He said there are "very few" new cases being reported in long term residential care. The number of people requesting a test has also dropped.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said NPHET had "no change" regarding advice on face coverings.

He said efforts need to be redoubled toward ensuring people wear face coverings in enclosed spaces, adding there is concern that there is a belief a face covering removes the need for other measures.

"The advice remains to wear them on public transport and in enclosed settings such as retail outlets. We do think the message needs to be re-enforced. The level of compliance is not where it needs to be."

Dr Holohan said wearing a face covering does not obviate from the need for good hygiene and social distancing.

He said "we need to give clearer consistent communication to people on face coverings" and said there would be a campaign on this rolled out early next week.

He said NPHET has not moved on making face coverings mandatory.

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In relation to the reopening of hairdressers on 29 June, Dr Holohan said NPHET was looking at all the different phases on the road map and it would give advice to the Government on this next week.

He said NPHET would also be advising Government about the size of weddings.

When asked about the 2m social distancing guideline, Dr Holohan, said NPHET had "never stopped looking at it".

He said NPHET was in the process of developing guidance to the hospitality industry and hoped to advise them "in the near term".

Dr Holohan said advice would be given to Government next week as regards travel to Ireland's offshore islands.

Dr Ronan Glynn at this evening's briefing (Pic:

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that 67% of Covid-19 cases in nursing homes were female, while 57% of people who died with Covid-19 in nursing homes were female.

However, he said: "The key metric is the case fatality rate and this is 6% for women and 8% for men.

"Anecdotally, we are hearing and seeing an increasing number of people who have had this disease being left with prolonged side-effects and taking a long time to recover.

"Within the 92% who are recovering from Covid-19, there are people who are not yet back to full health. That is why it's important to keep yourself and your loved ones protected."

Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 will be a mild to moderate illness, close to 14% have severe disease and around 6% are critical.

Generally, you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person and within two metres of them, to be considered at-risk, or a close contact.