The Chief Medical Officer says the current trajectory of Covid-19 here is of "grave concern", as people are being urged to rethink their Christmas plans to protect elderly and vulnerable loved ones.
The country will move to Level 5 restrictions tomorrow in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.
Hotels, gastropubs, hairdressers and beauticians will have to close, while restrictions on household visits and inter-county travel will be phased in from St. Stephen's Day.
970 new cases were recorded yesterday - the highest in almost two months.
Meanwhile, Sinn Fein's Justice Spokesperson says tougher fines and more enforcement is not the answer to stopping the spread of Covid-19.
Last month fines of up to 500 euro were introduced for breaches of regulations.
Sligo-Leitrim and South Donegal TD Martin Kenny says people are doing their best to follow the rules......