A meeting of the Government has ended tonight and a decision on level five restrictions still hasn't been made.
Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan says it isn't likely there'll be be a full Cabinet meeting tomorrow, and that there's still a lot to consider.
A Government statement confirmed the Cabinet won't meet to consider the issue until Monday.
The Government has said the potential move to the highest level of restrictions is a massive decision that shouldn't be rushed without full consideration of the impacts.
Eamon Ryan stops to speak with press as Stephen Donnelly leaves being him. pic.twitter.com/MT38asbqYI
— Stephen Bourke (@AnBurcach) October 17, 2020
NPHET's Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn and Professor Phillip Nolan left Government Buildings earlier after briefing senior ministers for several hours.
Earlier this week the public health officials recommended a move to level five - an effective lockdown - for six weeks, the second time they've made such a recommendation.
Senior ministers continued discussions for several more hours, before the meeting broke up after 8pm.
Leaving the meeting, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said it's a complex issue being considered, with many different variables.
He said: "Government will look at matters further.
"We share the concerns [of NPHET]... We listened intently. But Government has to balance up a whole range of areas."
The Government statement, meanwhile, said ministers had received updates on the current situation from NPHET and the HSE CEO.
The statement says: "Presentations were also given on the economic, employment and society wide implications of moving to more severe restrictions.
"Other significant issues were also discussed such as mental health and domestic violence.
"Fundamental to the discussions was the overarching aim of protecting lives and livelihoods."
It adds that ministers were told children were "safer in schools", and that transmission rates in schools is low.
It comes as today's figures showed a record new 1,276 coronavirus cases, as well as eight further deaths.