There are 1,499 new cases of Covid-19, according to the Department of Health.

The figures also show that there are 300 patients in hospital with the virus, down 10 since yesterday, 63 of whom are in intensive care units, a decrease of three on yesterday.

NPHET's Professor Philip Nolan said this evening that overall incidence of Covid-19 in Ireland is "stable but high".

The chair of the Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group said the current incidence represents a "delicate balance between increasing social contact and vaccine immunity as we resume more activities".

He said: "If we take care to isolate if symptomatic, and adhere to basic measures, we can drive incidence down and further reduce risk."

Professor Nolan also said this evening that the incidence of infection among children aged 5-12 is falling and "approaching what it was before schools opened, while we're still testing at over three times [the] rate we had in mid-August".

In Northern Ireland, four coronavirus-related deaths and 1,078 confirmed cases were reported today.

There are 362 patients with Covid-19 in hospital, up from 345 yesterday.

Of these, 27 are being treated in intensive care, down one from yesterday.

The latest figures come as social distancing restrictions for shops, theatres and a number of other indoor settings are set to come to an end in Northern Ireland.

Ministers have decided to remove the one-metre distance requirement for the retail sector, indoor attractions and seated indoor venues from 6pm on Thursday.

Further consideration is to be given to the hospitality sector on 7 October.

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Meanwhile, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe has said that there will be no change to the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) for October.

Mr Donohoe said this means the EWSS will continue to operate in its current form during October, so that the main eligibility requirement is a 30% decrease in turnover or customer orders in the full year 2021 compared to the full year 2019.

The enhanced rates of support and the reduced rate of Employers' PRSI will also continue to apply for October.

Elsewhere, the Licensed Vintners Association warned that nightclubs and late bars will be forced to hand over more than €2.2m to the Government before they can open.

Nightclubs and late bars have been shut by Government order for 585 consecutive days due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Nightclubs will need to start applying for their Special Exemption Orders from next week as they are expected to open on 22 October.

These orders are granted by the courts, but each Special Exemption Order requires a payment of €410 to the Government for every late night of trading.