The Government has been warned that Covid cases could rise to up to 5,000 a day in the lead up to Christmas.
Ministers received the warning as part of a presentation on the trajectory of the virus over the coming months.
Cases have increased in recent weeks with an average of more than 2,000 cases per day in the past fortnight.
The Cabinet subcommittee on Covid-19 met on Tuesday evening, with Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly giving a “stark” update, outlining how cases were as high now as at any point apart from the peak of the January wave.
The Irish Times are reporting that there was “no talk of reimposing restrictions but a general concern that a peak and rapid fall cannot be assumed”.
“We might peak but then plateau again at 2,000 a day,” a source said.
The peak of the current wave could still see between 2,500 cases and 4,000 to 5,000 per day, senior Ministers were told.
This could see 800 to 1,000 people in hospital at the peak, with 150 to 200 requiring admission to intensive care.
The Ministers were also told that there was some grounds for optimism, including a flattening incidence of Covid among those aged over-80, which could be thanks to booster shots.
However, the committee heard that numbers in ICU are up 22 per cent in the last week, and numbers in hospital are up 41 per cent in the last fortnight.
HSE boss Paul Reid is understood to have told the meeting he wants to see booster shots for healthcare workers.