6,307 new cases of Covid-19 have been reported this evening - the second-highest figure since January.
The latest figures show Dublin has by far the highest 14-day incidence rate in the country, at 1,703 cases per 100,000 people.
55 Covid related deaths have also been reported in the past week bringing the number to 5,890.
429 Covid patients are in hospital, with 100 in intensive care.
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) December 22, 2021
Tony Holohan, says research has found many people have changed their Christmas plans.
“Our recent research has shown that many people have reviewed their plans for Christmas, reduced their social contacts and changed or postponed plans in order to protect themselves and their loved ones. This is a big sacrifice that many have made and will do much to protect all of us over the festive period.
“It is important that we remember that COVID-19 will still be circulating at a high level after Christmas and into the New Year, and even though it is a difficult message to hear, we must all continue to keep our social contacts low and do all we can to continue to adhere to the public health advice.
“We know that our young people are making a really big effort to act responsibly and to follow the public health advice and I would like to thank them for their significant efforts. It is really important that we all remember that there is no one person or group or thing to blame in the situation we find ourselves in other, than the COVID-19 virus.
“Booster vaccination is accelerating across the country and the images we see of people queuing for their vaccine, prioritising that appointment before Christmas are heartening. Please stick with all of the measures that we know work as we move through the next few difficult weeks, including attending for vaccination."