FOLLOWING a recent spike in Covid-19 cases Ireland is set to reimpose lockdown restrictions nationwide.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan admitted that further health measures would have to be implemented "sooner than originally planned" in order to combat the spread of the virus.
He said that the Government would be meeting today and tomorrow before deciding on the finer details of the plan, but that it was expected the hospitality industry would shut once again.
"The Taoiseach was out saying last week that because of the rising numbers, we were looking at some of the dates, an earlier closing of hospitality, a reduction in the number of households who could visit the house," Ryan said speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland on Monday.
"It was only the last three days really that we've seen the recent spike, that would call us to change timelines.
"We're looking with concern at the rising numbers. There is likely to be further restrictions yes, and sooner than originally planned.
"I think in a variety of different measures there is likely to be change."
It comes as reports emerge that pubs in Ireland will be shutting in the New Year, and that 'wet pubs' could remain closed until March, in yet another crushing blow to the hospitality industry.
Ireland has currently implemented a 48 hour travel ban from the UK, in the wake of the 'new strain' of Covid-19 that reportedly spreads 70% more easily than the original virus.
The travel ban could potentially be extended beyond the initial 48 hour period, and could even stretch beyond Christmas.
Cabinet is set to meet today and tomorrow to discuss the situation.