NPHET has made another recommendation to move the entire country to level five restrictions.
Public health officials have said the lockdown should last for six weeks.
Unlike the previous Level 5 recommendation of almost two weeks ago, this move by NPHET wasn’t unexpected in Government Buildings.
Public health officials made it clear that they feel the situation has only deteriorated since then.
Last night saw a daily record of 1,205 cases, including 13 in Clare.
In response to today’s move, it’s not expected there will be any immediate decision from the government on what to do.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin is in Brussels for the EU Summit and won’t be back until late tonight.
Government sources indicated they would take the weekend to consider the situation, the impact of level five and whether in light of a further worsening of the situation that it’s warranted.
That would indicate a cabinet decision on the issue on either Monday or Tuesday.
A number of Ministers also want to get out of the cycle of having new announcements every few days which they admit is very draining for people.
They also want to give level three restrictions a further chance to work – given it’s been less than two weeks since they were implemented.
However, the NPHET recommendation will put further political pressure on an escalation of restrictions.
Separately, the latest COVID statistics make grim reading for Clare.
In an update from NPHET, there’s been a big spike in cases in the Shannon electoral area since the last release of a week ago, while Kilrush and Ennis have also experienced further significant growth.
All three areas have incidence rates of COVID-19 that are more than double the national average.
There are eight people with confirmed COVID cases in University Hospital Limerick, though the national figure has increased to 244.