The new UK variant of Covid-19 is in Ireland, the chief medical officer has confirmed.
Two more people have died with Covid-19 in Ireland, the health department said last night.
As of midnight Thursday December 24, the health authorities have been notified of 1,025 confirmed cases of infection.
There are now a total of 84,098 confirmed cases in Ireland.
Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "I can confirm that we have detected the new UK variant of SARS-CoV-2 by whole genome sequencing at the National Virus Reference Laboratory in UCD.
"Further testing in the coming days and weeks will establish the extent to which it is present here.
"In the meantime, it is vitally important that we each stay at home, avoid social contact and avoid all forms of non-essential travel."