A further 20,909 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported in Ireland today.
There are 1,055 people in hospital with the virus. Of those patients, 92 are in ICU.
Eighty-three more deaths have been notified to NPHET in the past week. The total number of Covid-19 deaths in the Republic of Ireland is now 6,035.
Letterkenny University Hospital has the fourth highest number of Covid-19 patients today. There were 64 patients with the virus being treated onsite last night, with three Covid patients in ICU.
Changes to close contact rules were approved by Cabinet today to allow people who are fully vaccinated close contacts to avoid isolation. From Friday, they will be advised to wear a medical or higher grade mask and to take regular antigen tests. Close contacts who have not received a booster vaccine will have to restrict their movements for seven days.
If a close contct becomes symptomatic, they should immediately self-isolate, get tested and wear a mask as appropriate.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said: “The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is continuing to have a significant impact on all areas of our society and economy due to its increased growth advantage compared to Delta. There are some early, positive indicators however, that suggest infection from Omicron results in less severe illness and reduced requirement for care in hospital.
“It is important to note that the changes announced today cover a range of measures from self-isolation and restriction of movements to mask wearing and testing. These measures are more proportionate to the current level of infection and the impact it is having. In particular, while we are reducing the requirement to self-isolate and restrict movements for cases and close contacts respectively, we are strengthening guidance relating to mask wearing and reduced social contact for the full 10 days following diagnosis or last known close contact.
“These measures are intended to maintain our protection of public health while reducing pressure on the health service and enabling the continued operation of other economic and social sectors in society, including essential services.”