The Taoiseach has pleaded with people to limit their contacts in the run-up to Christmas following a spike in Covid transmissions.
Donegal still has the highest incidence rate of the virus in the country despite a drop in recent days.
Micheal Martin said there are fears for further spikes with the easing of travel restrictions this Friday.
It is expected that many people will travel back to Donegal and other counties this weekend in time for Christmas.
Mr Martin also warned the imminent roll-out of vaccines will not offer instant relief from the pandemic.
Some 429 new infections and one further death were confirmed yesterday.
“I am very concerned at those numbers,” said Mr Martin. “What I would say to people is that every [social] contact matters. If people want to enjoy Christmas with their loved-ones, particularly their parents or grandparents it is extremely important that they watch their behaviour over the coming week.”
From Friday people will be able to travel outside their county in order to spend Christmas with their loved ones.
There is no indication as yet that this will be put on hold if infections continue to rise over the coming days.
Mr Martin said he did not believe a third lockdown was now inevitable in January – but he stressed that avoiding it was firmly in the public’s hands.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said people must now weigh up the risks of whatever socialising they are planning in the days ahead.Tags: