The Taoiseach has said the next ten days are critical in the battle against Covid-19.

Micheál Martin said there were concerns about large urban areas including Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway and some other areas.

His comments come as the Government agrees to impose further Covid-19 restrictions on Donegal.

The county is to move to Level 3 restrictions from midnight tonight.

Speaking on Dublin, Mr Martin indicated it was too early for further measures saying it was just the first week of a three-week period.

Mr Martin was visiting the Oliver Bond Street flats and meeting community activists following a party widely criticised for being in breach of public health guidelines there last weekend.

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The Minister for Higher Education has warned that the decisions each person makes in the next week will be crucial.

Simon Harris said we are now at a crucial juncture and that "we have about a week" to determine the course of the virus.

"I don't think there’s anybody in this country who forgets what the situation was like in March or April, it is not inevitable that we end up back there, it’s far from inevitable.

"We have about a week, every single one of us, to decide what are we going to do to make sure that we do not go back to those dark days," he said.

The Minister said this is a nationwide challenge and that he fears that the virus is beginning to run ahead of us again.

"We cannot allow this to happen," he said.

He appealed to people of all ages across the country to listen to public health advice and act on it.

He said the message is very simple and clear; keep your distance and make a conscious effort to reduce the number of social contacts we have.


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The National Public Health Emergency Team met today to discuss the trajectory of Covid-19.

A key figure on NPHET has warned that all the metrics used to measure the growth of Covid-19 in Ireland are increasing.

Professor Philip Nolan has said that the reproductive rate of the virus - which is somewhere between 1.5 and 1.7 - is now far too high.

The goal is to get this back down below 1, he said.

There is grave concern about the increase in cases among people aged over 65, which is now four times higher than they were five weeks ago.

Officials said this is now a nationwide problem and Donegal, Louth, Waterford, Kildare, Offaly, Wicklow, and Cork are showing a high incidence of the virus.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn has said it is "vital" that people in every county now reduce their contacts in the days and weeks ahead.

Additional reporting: Sandra Hurley, Laura Hogan