Senior health officials are briefing the leaders of the three coalition parties this afternoon as they prepare to decide whether to move the country to level five restrictions. 

But there have been some some indications that the government may reject the advice of the National Public Health Emergency Team for the second time in a fortnight,

Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan, deputy CMO Dr Ronan Glynn and the head of the modelling group Professor Phillip Nolan are all briefing the three leaders this afternoon.

Last night they said Ireland needed six weeks at level five public health restrictions to bring the covid-19 outbreak under control.

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Green Party Leader will also receive a briefing from HSE chief executive Paul Reid about hospital capacity.

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