The Government has been accused of "playing footsie with a tiger" by introducing Covid measures that do not go far enough.
Opposition TDs have hit out at tighter Covid restrictions on travel due to be announced today, claiming they will not go far enough to combat the virus.
The Cabinet is to sign off on the extension of Level 5 restrictions until March 5 and will introduce mandatory hotel quarantining for those who enter the country without a Covid-negative PCR test.
Visitors arriving from high-risk locations including South Africa and some South American countries will also be subject to mandatory quarantine while other passengers will now be legally required to restrict their movements.
Solidarity-PBP TD Richard Boyd Barret said the Government's approach to stopping the virus has "failed spectacularly" to date.
Calling for a zero Covid plan, which he said could “save the summer”, Mr Boyd Barrett said: “Trying to live alongside Covid is like trying to play footsie with a tiger, it just does not work.”
Labour TD Duncan Smith described the plan to introduce hotel quarantining for some passengers in the coming weeks as "half-hearted" and a "substandard" approach.
He called for aggressive PCR testing in the community and said the Government must roll this out "no matter what the cost".
Sinn Féin's transport spokesperson Darren O'Rourke said the Government's quarantine proposals fall well short of what is now required Donegal TD Thomas Pringle said that the Government had not engaged with the Northern Executive on a Zero Covid strategy.
"No - in a word," he said when asked if the Government has done enough to work cross-border.
"I put in an FOI request in October asking what contacts they had with the Northern government in terms of Zero Covid and Covid response and they've had absolutely nothing.
"What the Government needs to do is talk to the Northern Executive. That's the least they can do."
He added that he "does not buy" the idea that the North would hamper an Irish Zero Covid strategy.