The number of people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 has fallen to its lowest level for seven months.

There were 122 coronavirus patents in hospital at 8pm tonight, the lowest evening total since 2 October last.

Of these, 37 are being treated in intensive care.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health reported 418 new cases of Covid-19 today, as well as seven deaths.

Five of the deaths occurred last month, one in February and one in January.

The median age of those who died was 82 and the age range was 67-92 years.

There has been a total of 4,915 Covid-19 related deaths and 251,087 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Of the cases notified today, 199 are men and 214 are women, 73% are under 45 years of age and the median age is 30.

167 are in Dublin, 39 in Cork, 32 in Donegal, 29 in Kildare, 22 in Meath, and the remaining 129 cases are spread across 20 other counties.

As of last Monday, 1,621,870 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Ireland with 1,174,292 people receiving their first dose and 447,578 people being fully vaccinated.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "As we look forward to the greater reopening of activities and services, our key objective now is to maintain our course in coming weeks and follow the public health advice in our daily activities.

"When you are planning to meet someone, remember that outdoors is safer for everybody. And when you meet up, stay at a 2m distance, keep to a small group and avoid crowded areas - this will minimise the risk of passing the virus from person to person, driving down the incidence rate and keeping our society open.

"Throughout this pandemic we have seen outbreaks and clusters of disease as a result of social events such as funerals, wakes and birthday parties.

"Unfortunately we need to continue to stay vigilant to the infectious nature of this disease and avoid congregating together in large groups.

"We need all sectors of society to continue to encourage and support the public health messages and to help everyone to stay safe."

Meanwhile, in Northern Ireland 99 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed and no further deaths reported in the past 24 hours.

There are 72 Covid patients in hospital with seven in ICU, five of whom are on ventilators.

The average seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 is 33.2.

The area with highest rate remains Derry and Strabane on 100.9, while the lowest remains Ards and North Down on 4.4.

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Earlier Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said he hopes August will be the month when things are relatively normal again in Ireland.

He said he hoped that by then, the vast majority of restrictions would be gone.

Mr Varadkar said he was hopeful that there would be indoor dining and people would be allowed indoors in pubs in July.

But he said not everything may be the same and there would be questions about mass gatherings and indoor events and international travel.

This morning the French Ambassador to Ireland criticised the exemption mechanism for mandatory hotel quarantine here.

Vincent Guérend said the exemptions were not adequate and a new mechanism, to allow for more exemptions, should be put in place.

He said the embassy had received a large number of calls from the French community in Ireland since quarantine began, adding that many of the 25,000 to 30,000 French people who live in Ireland commute between the two countries.

Ambassador Guérend said people also travel for medical reasons and that mandatory hotel quarantine would prevent this travel.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, he said Ireland was the only EU state to impose mandatory hotel quarantine.

Mr Guérend said the current situation was challenging for all governments but that more quarantine at home and testing should be considered.