The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, has said the number of new cases of Covid-19 in younger people was now a real concern and a worrying trend. 

His comments came as six more deaths from coronavirus as well as 23 more cases were confirmed this evening. 

There have now been a total of 1734 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland and 25,437 confirmed cases. 

Dr Holohan said that of the 23 new cases reported today, ten - or 43% - were in people aged under 35. A further eight cases were in people aged between 35-54.

He said this was now "a real concern and a worrying trend" at a time, he said, when many people were reconnecting with loved ones, and may be gathering in larger groups. 

Some cases confirmed in recent days, had large numbers of close contacts who required testing and self isolation for 14 days.

Dr Holohan warned that Covid-19 affected all ages and everyone needed to take their individual responsibility seriously.

He also expressed concern about the impact of travel on the spread of the disease. 

At last night's briefing and again today, the Chief Medical Officer said what worried him most as the country moves to Phase 3 of reopening on Monday, was travel from overseas.

In a tweet this morning, he said he feared many people were planning foreign trips.

Dr Holohan said 2020 was "a year for a staycation" and he urged people to stay in Ireland, spend locally and follow public health advice. 

Figures from the HSE show there are 12 patients in intensive care with confirmed cases of Covid 19 and six suspected cases. There were no admissions to ICU in the previous 24 hours. 

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There were 19 people in hospital last night with confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 101 suspected cases. 

The figures from the HSE show that there were 274 occupied critical care beds in the acute hospital system and just 74 available. There were 563 general hospital beds available.

There has been one further coronavirus-related death in Northern Ireland, taking the official  toll to 549. There are two new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the North, bringing cumulative total of people diagnosed with the disease to 5,750.

The World Health Organization said data to date suggests 80% of Covid-19 infections are mild or asymptomatic, 15% are severe infection, requiring oxygen and 5% are critical, requiring ventilation. 

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.