The Taoiseach has said that although Covid-19 is here for "the longer term", the public health advice at the moment is not to go back to wearing facemasks in public places.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation has called for masks to be reintroduced due to increased case numbers, however Micheál Martin said that the Government would go by public health advice.

"The public advice at the moment is not to go down that particular route, but we have to take on board that cases are rising so people have to be vigilant.

"People should wear masks if they feel that it protects them and if they're of a view that that's in their best interests, but it's personal responsibility at this particular point in time.

"Covid is with us for the longer term.

"What I would appeal to people is to get vaccinated, particularly those who have been recommended for a fourth vaccine.

"Please get vaccinated because we know vaccination works in terms of preventing serious illness and death and that's the key message that I would have today - get vaccinated - to people who are not vaccinated or haven't taken their fourth vaccination," he said.


Latest coronavirus stories


As of 8am this morning, there were 574 people in hospital with the virus, an increase of 37 on the same time yesterday.

Of these, 23 people are being treated in intensive care units with Covid-19, which is down 23 on yesterday's figures.