The Cabinet will meet in the afternoon to discuss recommendations from the National Public Health Emergency Team on Phase 3 of the easing of coronavirus restrictions, scheduled for 29 June.

It is expected that the reopening of hairdressers and barbers will be brought forward to this phase.

The Department of Health was informed of four further deaths from Covid-19 and 16 new confirmed cases.

It brings the total number of deaths here to 1,714, with 25,355 cases of coronavirus now confirmed in Ireland.

Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs the modelling advisory group, said that the numbers of people with Covid-19 in hospital and in ICU continues to decline.

He said there is a very strong indication that the disease in the country is at a low level and very stable.

Professor Nolan also said a number of travel-related cases had been reported over the past two weeks.

He said that number was less than ten, but was still a cause for some concern.

The National Public Health Emergency Team has finalised the advice it will give to Government about the next phase of the reopening of the country, due to take place on 29 June.

Political sources said that they recommended that the reopening of hairdressers and barbers could be moved forward into that phase.

The Cabinet meets later and it is believed the possibility of restrictions around theatres, cinemas, gyms, contact sports and larger social gatherings being lifted early will also be discussed.

An announcement is expected from the Government in the evening.

Meanwhile, Danielle Kennedy, incoming President Irish Hairdressers Federation and owner of hair salons in Waterford and Wexford, has said there are 1,000 people on the waiting list for appointments at her salons.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sarah McInerney, she said it will take three weeks to treat clients on the waiting list when her salons reopen.

Ms Kennedy's salons will be extending their opening hours, and clients will have to pay approximately €4 extra to cover the cost of personal protective equipment.

For someone making a booking now they will be waiting at least three weeks to be seen, she said.

Her salons will be implementing a policy whereby blow drying will only be available as standalone treatments for "older people and the infirm" for the first month after reopening "to keep those slots free and make sure everyone can get their colours and cuts done".