NPHET has advised that the entire country shift to Level 5 restrictions in a letter sent to the government tonight.
Three government party leaders are expected to meet tomorrow with the CMO about the recommendations. This follows a meeting, to discuss the worrying turn of events surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, chaired by Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan.
The matter requires consideration from the Covid-19 oversight group, the Cabinet Sub-committee as well as the full Cabinet.
At Level 5, the public health risk means that people will be asked to remain at home, except to exercise within 5 kilometres of one's home. There will be no gatherings other than small numbers at funerals and weddings.
Former Lord Mayor and Blackpool GP John Sheehan said he hopes Level 5 restrictions will not materialise.
"The restrictions have been very hard on people. The hope is that people will redouble their efforts. Obviously, NPHET are extremely concerned with the rate of increase."
He added that people are growing isolated.
"I can understand how people feel isolated. The last few weeks people were starting to get back some element of normality. With the Winter coming this is really going to affect people. The groups this is mainly affecting are the very young and the very old. Old people are cocooning and young people are missing out on those important social interactions that help their development. I can understand why people feel overwhelmed but just hope this won't be necessary."
He urged people to continue social distancing.
"There was a huge buy-in from people last March and it was really successful. If this happens we have to make sure that complacency doesn't creep back in. Non-compliance will only increase the period we spend with level 5 restrictions. If this does come to be we have to make sure it's for as short a time as possible."