IRELAND has just two weeks to improve its Covid-19 situation before anything resembling a 'normal' Christmas will be lost.
According to the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), the situation is "deteriorating" with reductions in coronavirus case numbers stalling.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn said "widespread" infections were occurring across the country in different settings, just days after dozens of revellers were spotted drinking en masse together on the streets of Dublin and Cork.
"We are concerned the positive trajectory we had has at best stalled and is in fact deteriorating," he said, adding that there was only a short time "to turn this around" by focusing on the basics of public health.
Dr Glynn implored the public to make the most of the final two weeks of lockdown, indicating that it would be the last real chance we have of protecting Christmas.
He stressed, however, that the Irish people shouldn't focus beyond the next few days or begin looking to the festive season.
"If we keep focusing on three and four and five weeks' time, we take our eye off what we need to be doing today," he added.
"It is hard enough for people to do what need to be done today as well as having to worry or be concerned about what might happen in four or five weeks' time.
"I am fully aware of what's coming. We all want to enjoy a good Christmas."