Health officials have reported a further 1,179 COVID cases this afternoon.
Last night, there were 91 patients in hospital – 33 more than this day last week.
There were 22 in intensive care – six more than last week.
The five-day average has shot up to 1101.
It comes after the HSE said antigen testing will soon be used for close contacts of confirmed cases.
This afternoon the HSE National Lead for Testing and Tracing Niamh O’Beirne said close contacts would be asked to sit four negative antigen tests to end their self-isolation.
Meanwhile, the HSE Chief Paul Reid said the recent rise in cases is a “significant cause of concern” and officials will be watching the hospital figures “very closely” in the coming weeks.
He said young people are "the new vulnerable"; encouraging them to be careful in the coming weeks and take up their vaccine when they can
Ireland is due to relax travel restrictions from tomorrow when the EU Digital COVID Cert will be formally rolled out and fully vaccinated passengers from Britain and the US will no longer face testing and isolation requirements.