THE NATIONAL Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has warned Government that the country could face highs of up to 1,000 Covid-19 cases per day later this month.
Due to a sharp rise in Delta variant cases, and with the reopening of both international travel and hospitality just over the horizon, there are now fears daily case numbers are about to soar to levels not seen since February at the height of the third wave.
It's understood that Cabinet is meeting with NPHET today to discuss the growing concerns and address the delicate issue of reopening society over the coming weeks.
Indoor dining is expected to return around July 19, while international travel will be back up and running once Ireland is able to roll out the EU's travel certificate system, which ensures that only fully vaccinated individuals may travel freely between member states without the need to quarantine or isolate.
A similar system will be set up for indoor dining within Ireland, with millions of 'vaccine passes' set to be delivered around the country over the next week-and-a-half.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan revealed last week that the Delta variant now makes up over 70% of Ireland's Covid-19 cases, and because the strain is believed to be more transmissible than the other forms of the virus, NPHET has urged Government to maintain its cautious approach to reopening.
"While this variant continues to present a threat, those of us who are fully vaccinated can have confidence in their vaccine and should feel comfortable meeting with other fully vaccinated people in all settings," said Dr Holohan.
"Unfortunately, the Delta variant continues to present a risk to those of us who are unvaccinated or waiting for a second dose of vaccine - we need to continue to follow the public health advice, manager your contacts, avoid crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands and most importantly get your Covid-19 vaccine when it is offered to you."