Three more people have died from Covid-19 in Ireland bringing the total number of Covid-related deaths to 2,036.
A further 335 cases of the virus were confirmed as well today by the Department of Health.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in the country has now reached 71,494 cases since the outbreak began.
246 people are in hospital receiving treatment for coronavirus while 35 people are in intensive care.
15 people were admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours while 21 people were discharged.
A further breakdown of the Covid-19 case data released by the Department of Health shows:
- 162 cases are men and 171 are women
- 64% of cases are under 45 years of age
- The median age of patients is 35 years old
106 cases have been reported across 19 counties but Dublin reported the single most cases today with 119.
Kilkenny reported 29 cases while Limerick confirmed 23. 20 cases were reported in Donegal. Cork and Tipperary both confirmed 19 cases in each county.
The latest data about Covid-19 released by the Department of Health comes as the government is preparing for the country's exit from Level 5 ahead of Christmas.
Cinemas, museums, and art galleries are expected to reopen from next week while other sectors are expected to open as part of a phased plan.
In this plan thecan confirm:
- Several phases of Covid-19 restrictions will be set out for December;
- Under Level 3, retail, gyms and hairdressers will re-open next week and are set to remain open;
- Outdoor sports including tennis and golf will be allowed;
- It is expected that under Level 3, travel restrictions will be lifted and people will be able to travel within their own county from next week, with a further loosening expected closer to Christmas to allow people see their families.
- A final decision on how the ban on household visits will be lifted is yet to be made.
- A move to allow restaurants to open will follow the week after next but wet pubs are unlikely to be allowed to open unless they have a working kitchen, a stricter rule compared to what applied earlier this year.
However, the Government’s public health officials have said they are against moves to ease restrictions on hospitality and wet pubs.
Some distance has emerged between the Government and its medical advisors who have called for gastro-pubs and restaurants to only operate on a takeaway and delivery service basis over Christmas.
Nphet made the recommendation in a letter to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
Government sources signalled that they had expected Nphet to raise alarm over restaurants opening up, but the intention to allow people have a good Christmas remains.
Senior Government sources said “we are not surprised” at the conclusions from the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) ahead of the publication of the Government’s plan on Friday.
The recommendation from Nphet is being discussed by the Cabinet sub-Committee on Covid-19 this evening. Also attending that meeting are Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Tony Holohan and HSE Chief Paul Reid.
The Irish Examiner also understands that the public health officials have said that only two households should be permitted to gather indoors after the move out of Level 5.