People are being urged to reconsider their Christmas plans if they have been socialising in the past few weeks, after 764 more cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic last night along with 4 additional deaths from the virus.

This includes 17 new cases in Galway, 14 in Sligo, 9 in Mayo and less than 5 in Roscommon and Leitrim.

The five day average number of cases has now risen to 557, while the estimated 14-day incidence rate is now above 112 cases per 100,000.

Mayo's 14-day rate is slightly higher at 116, while the other Connacht counties are all below the national average.

Mayo has seen 152 new cases of the virus over the past 2 weeks - the highest figure in the province.

Nationally, the infection rate among adults between 19 and 44 has more than doubled in the past 10 days.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says every indicator of the disease severity is moving in the wrong direction, more rapidly than anticipated, and they have strong concerns about the prospect of inter-generational mixing around the festive season.

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