Taoiseach Micheál Martin has indicated to a closed online meeting of Fianna Fáil TDs, senators and MEPs this evening that Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions will likely remain in place for the full six weeks.

He reportedly told his parliamentary party that he hopes the coalition will be able to take decisive action, after the reproductive rate of the virus reduces significantly over the duration of the latest restrictions. 

There have been eight Covid-19 related deaths and 444 new cases of the disease notified to the Department of Health in the past 24 hours.

The number of people in ICU is 41, down one since yesterday.

As of 2pm there were 310 people with Covid-19 in hospitals. There were 25 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

The total number of coronavirus-related deaths is now 1,930 with 63,483 confirmed cases. This includes the denotification of 9 previously confirmed cases.

The 14-day incidence rate now stands at 212.7 per 100,000 of population. That's down from 228 yesterday.

The rate in Cavan is the highest at 364.9 per 100,000 of the population, followed by Meath at 323.

Leitrim has the lowest rate per 100,000 of population at 68.7.

Of the cases notified today 158 are in Dublin, 48 are in Cork, 36 in Galway and 28 are in Limerick. The other 174 cases are spread across the 19 remaining counties.

The median age of those cases is 37. 208 are men and 235 are women with 61% of those under the age of 45 years.

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Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said that the public health advice which has been given form the outset of the pandemic is designed to protect everyone from the impact of Covid-19.

He again reiterated that for people who are deemed to be a close contact of a confirmed case that they should restrict  their movements for 14 days and "to attend for your two free Covid-19 test, one on day zero and one on day seven".

"This is because as an identified close contact, you have come into contact with the virus. It may take some time for this to become apparent, or for you to become infectious."

Mr Holohan said that "by staying at home for the 14 day period, you are helping to stop the spread of this dangerous disease".

"In following this important guidance, you are helping to bring this virus right back down to where we all need it to be and playing your part in this national effort."