YET ANOTHER Covid-19 variant has been identified in Ireland, according to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
It's understood that just a single case of the new strain, called B1525, has been diagnosed in the country so far after being identified through genome sequencing.
It's believed to have originated from sub-Saharan African, but first emerged in the UK and Nigeria, and has since been found in the US, Canada, Australia and Denmark.
There are fears that it has the potential to be the most troublesome variant yet.
According to the Irish Times, B1525 has a number of mutations that help the virus evade neutralising antibodies, meaning that it could have some resistance to Covid-19 vaccines.
Very little is known about the variant, but some experts believe it will be able to spread very quickly, particularly among those who have been vaccinated against the virus.
It comes after four further cases of the South African variant were identified in Ireland, bringing the total to 15, according to Dr Cillian de Gascun, director of the National Virus Reference Laboratory.
The number of cases from the Brazil variant in Ireland remain at three.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said that the country was making "good progress" but pleaded for caution as society begins to reopen.
"We are making good progress and can see that many of the key indicators of disease levels in our communities are continuing to fall," he said.
"This progress is the reason we are able to reopen our schools in a cautious and phased basis.
"However, we must remember that Covid-19 is still circulating at a high level, and we are still seeing positivity rates of around 15% in the community.
"As we see more of our children return to school next week, it is important that we continue to follow all of the public health guidance, including on the school run."