The Department of Health has said that 16 more people with Covid-19 have died in Ireland.

Of the deaths reported today, 14 occurred in November, one occurred in October and one remains under investigation.

There has now been a total of 1,963 Covid-19 related deaths in Ireland.

It said 270 new cases of the coronavirus were confirmed today, bringing the total number of cases to 65,889.

Of the cases notified today, 123 are men and 147 are women, 56% are under 45 years of age.

The median age is 42 years old.

The breakdown of today's cases is: 82 in Dublin, 21 in Donegal, 18 in Roscommon, 17 in Limerick, 17 in Tipperary and the remaining 115 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of 2pm today, 282 Covid-19 patients were in hospital, of which 40 are in ICU. There has been 21 additional hospitalisations in the past 24 hours.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "The significant improvement in the profile of the disease is encouraging: the 14-day incidence of 152 cases per 100,000 is down by 51% compared to the previous two weeks.

"To maintain this positive trajectory, we need to remain vigilant to the highly infectious nature of this virus, which can easily spread from person to person through close contact and by social mixing.

"Our individual everyday choices to stay at home and keep our contacts to a minimum are vital to driving down the spread of Covid-19."

The positivity rate of Covid-19 among those tested for the virus has fallen below 4%.

The number of tests carried out over the last seven days is also lower than it has been in recent weeks, at 78,398 tests completed. Of these, the positivity rate is 3.9%.

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HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid said this morning that there are "continued good trends" with reducing numbers of cases and the positivity rate.

Mr Reid said in a tweet that the HSE wants these numbers to come down "much more".

He said there is "good hope" about a vaccine, but that "the basics count more than ever".

Cloth face coverings superior to visors, says HSE

The HSE has said that cloth face coverings, or masks, are superior to visors, as a measure for prevention of transmission of Covid-19.

It said that expert opinion and international guidance indicates that cloth face coverings or masks are more effective than visors.

Dr John Cuddihy, Director of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, said that people should not regard a visor as "just as good".

"It's not just as good, and really only suitable for specific circumstances," he said.

In Northern Ireland, 11 more people with Covid-19 have died, bringing the death toll to 802.

There were also 514 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.

The Department of Health said that there were 420 patients in hospital with 50 in ICU and 39 of those on ventilators.

Stormont Executive ministers were involved in angry exchanges tonight after the DUP moved to block a proposal to extend Northern Ireland's circuit-break lockdown for two more weeks.

DUP Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots' call for the proposal to be decided using the cross-community voting mechanism - effectively handing his party a veto - provoked heated responses from other parties during a meeting this evening.

The recommendation to extend the circuit-break measures in their entirety was tabled by Health Minister Robin Swann, who warned of another spike in cases by mid-December if the move was not taken.

The DUP has been opposed to extending the full complement of restrictions beyond Thursday.

In the Republic, the Cabinet considered Covid-19 testing and travelling today.

If visitors from an EU red country pass a PCR test five days after arrival in Ireland, they will be able discontinue their restricted movements.

The measure comes into force on midnight 29 November.

Yesterday, a new approach to air travel across Europe came into operation.

As part of the European Union's traffic light system, countries and regions within those countries, will be categorised as green, orange or red depending on Covid-19 risk levels.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will publish a weekly map determined by the 14-day incidence and positivity rates of the disease.