At the press briefing this evening, the Department confirmed that an additional 21 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Ireland, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 25,698.
One more Covid-19 related death has occurred, bringing the death toll to 1,749.
Professor Philip Nolan, Chair of the NPHET Irish Epidemiological Modelling Advisory Group expressed his concerns at Ireland's reproduction number.
"Our best estimate of the R-number currently stands at 1.4 but it could be as high as 1.8," he said.
Professor Nolan said we "have an opportunity now to maintain suppression of the virus" but said that if the R-number continues to rise, there will be "significant consequences".
Dr Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said the "die has been cast" in relation to the Covid-19 cases for next week.
"The cases which we will report next week have already been seeded, however, we have the power to limit the spread and impact of this disease beyond that; the way we do so is through following public health advice, avoiding high risk situations and encouraging our friends and family to do the same," he said.
Dr Glynn reiterated NPHET's message to "avoid all non-essential travel" and encouraged people to holiday in Ireland this year.
The Government is expected to publish a 'green list’ of countries from which it is deemed safe to travel without quarantine on Monday.
When questioned by the media as to whether this is a confusing message for people, Dr Glynn said, "I accept that there are mixed messages on this".