There are signals the government may be set to reject the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team for the second time in a fortnight

The three government party leaders are due to meet this afternoon to decide what to do to control the spread of Covid-19.

Last night NPHET said to bring the outbreak under control, the whole country needed to move to level five of the government’s Covid-19 control plan for six weeks.

It would mean takeaways only from bars, cafes and restaurants, further limits to the size of weddings funerals and and individual exercise, outdoors only.

A thousand more people have tested positive for the virus, the third day in a row new confirmed cases have reached four figures.

There are 260 Covid patients being treated in hospital today, 16 more than yesterday.

That’s the highest number since the end of May — and the 30 patients with the virus in intensive care account for more than ten per cent of national critical care capacity.

Speaking this morning, Minister of State Thomas Byrne said the differrence between the current level three national restrictions and the top level five “isn’t as big as some people think”.

He said today’s meeting would “look at all the ramifications … and examine the “financial consequences of level five”

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