There are some reports that the Tánaiste indicated to the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party tonight that there is likely to be restrictions on gatherings for at least three more months.

Two sources who attended the meeting said Leo Varadkar also suggested there was a possibility that these restrictions could be in place for another six months.

One said that there were indications that the restrictions could potentially run until April of May.

The Taoiseach also told the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party meeting that the possibility of a Brexit deal is looking more hopeful this week.

Micheál Martin said there is a pathway on the level playing field issue but fisheries remains challenging.

Speaking about Covid-19, he said Government needed to keep an eye on the numbers and to continue to protect the vulnerable and the elderly over Christmas.

He said too that a small volume of the vaccine could be available in December.

That view was shared by Mr Varadkar who said it would be the second quarter of 2021 before many people start to see the benefits of the vaccine.

He said the two doses of the vaccine would have to be administered a month apart.