The Department of Health has been notified of a further 340 cases of Covid-19.

The number of people in hospital being treated for the virus stands at 47, an increase of four since yesterday.

The number in ICU has risen two to 15 in that time.

It brings the overall number of cases to have been confirmed since the start of the pandemic to 271,260.

Latest data from the HSE shows that up to yesterday evening, almost 310,000 vaccine doses were administered so far this week.

Over 1.5 million people, or 41% of the eligible population, are now fully vaccinated while almost 4m doses have been administered.

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The figures come as Taoiseach Micheál Martin earlier confirmed that the Cabinet will meet earlier than expected next week to decide on whether to ease restrictions from 5 July, including indoor hospitality.

Speaking on RTÉ's The Week in Politics, he said he was not in a position to name the date, and would not speculate on what the decision might be.

Mr Martin said he understands "how difficult and devastating the year has been to hospitality; we get that, we understand that. And we also understand the need to give notice".

The Restaurants Association of Ireland has called on the Government to make a decision, by next Tuesday, on whether indoor entertainment will be allowed to resume from 5 July.


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In recent days, there have been suggestions that indoor dining and entertainment could be delayed due to the Delta variant of Covid-19 - something which has prompted the hospitality sector to demand a speedy decision.

Separately, some health experts have said that waiting another two weeks to reopen the hospitality industry will not make a "substantial difference".

Speaking on RTÉ's Brendan O'Connor show, Infectious Diseases Consultant Professor Paddy Mallon said: "Just listening to this commentary over the past few weeks and this thought about the delay of two weeks, the first thing that comes to mind is what is going to be achieved in the two weeks that's really going to mitigate the risks.

"If we open up hospitality there will always be a risk and at some point, we have to test the water and see what that risk is.

"Two week delay is not going to stop the inevitable rise in cases that you're going to see as society opens up."

The St Vincent's University Hospital doctor said that restrictions need to be lifted soon.

"Continued lockdowns at this stage or continued blanket closures of society because of a reluctance to open, I'm just not sure where the rationale for that is."

But the focus needs to shift to vaccinating younger people, Dr Mallon said.

Elsewhere, a further 261 cases were reported in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, where no further deaths have been recorded.

More than two million Covid-19 vaccine doses have also now been administered in Northern Ireland.

This figure includes first and second doses.

The Department of Health said that 80% of the adult population have received a first jab, while close to 60% are fully vaccinated.

It comes as the country's first walk-in vaccination centre opened today.

First dose vaccinations are available for anyone aged over 18, who lives in Northern Ireland and is registered with a GP.