Level 5 could be exited on a county by county basis

Exiting level 5 in December should be done on a county by county basis, according to one health expert.

The national 14-day incident rate is 135 per 100 thousand, but some areas of country are experiencing much higher rates.

Local figures show South Inishowen in Donegal has the highest local area rate, at 536 cases per 100,000.

Health System's Professor Anthony Staines says keeping on top of community transmission will be key.......

Meanwhile, families may be able to reunite at Christmas if efforts to suppress the virus continue.

That's the message from the National Public Health Emergency Team, which has also described people returning home from abroad for Christmas as "non-essential travel".