NEW COVID-19 restrictions are to implemented in a series of staggered dates, according to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.
The Green Party leader was speaking to reporters ahead of the Government's Cabinet meeting this morning.
They met to discuss a recent spike in Covid-19 cases around the country.
It's understood that the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has urged the Government to move the country back into Level Five, though this proposal is expected to be rejected.
An announcement on the specifics of the news measures is expected this afternoon, but according to reports, Ireland is set to enter 'Level Five minus' restrictions.
Mr Ryan insists that the new rules and regulations won't all come in force at once.
"They won't be all on the same date over the holiday period," Ryan said, before insisting that the new measures were "necessary because of what we've seen, not just in Ireland, but in other countries too."
He said there was real concern that Covid-19 numbers are growing rapidly and across all age groups. Numbers are growing "just as fast in the older cohort as in the younger cohort" which was "slightly different from October when it was mainly young people."
"When you lose control, it's very difficult to get it back. We want to keep control the way we have in this country," Ryan added.