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252 new cases of COVID-19

There have been 252 additional cases of Covid-19 reported to the Department of Health today but no Covid-related deaths.

Of today's figures, 124 were men, 128 were women and 65 per cent were under the age of 45. The median age was 34-years-old.

There were 88 cases recorded in Dublin, 26 in Cork, 16 in Louth and 16 in Mayo. The remaining 85 cases were spread across 20 additional counties.

In the South East, Kilkenny has confirmed the most in the region with 21 new cases.

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Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford have each recorded less than 5 cases while Carlow has recorded no new cases in the last 24 hours.

Wexford continues to be the country with the lowest incidence rate in the Republic for the 12th consecutive day with a current figure of 36.1.

The total figures in the Republic now stand at 70,711 cases and 2,022 deaths.

According to the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), Ireland's 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 has now fallen to 109.

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In the North, 280 new cases have been recorded in the last 24 hours, with three additional deaths.

The death toll in Northern Ireland now stands at 936, while the total number of cases has surpassed the 50,000-mark.

Earlier today, Taoiseach MicheΓ‘l Martin confirmed that Ireland would move to Level 3 restrictions under the Government's Living with Covid Plan.

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The Taoiseach said Cabinet had not yet decided whether pubs and restaurants would be permitted to reopen fully ahead of Christmas.

The National Public Health Emergency Team is due to meet to discuss recommendations for the reopening of the country which the Government will then decide on later this week.

In vaccine news, researchers in Oxford University have said their vaccine is 70.4 per cent effective against Covid-19 according to their latest data.

The effectiveness of the shot, which is being developed with AstraZeneca, increases to 90 per cent when a half dose is first administered, followed by a full dose.

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