Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told his Fine Gael parliamentary party colleagues last night that Ireland could return to a version of level 4 restrictions after March 5th.

It would allow people to travel within their own county, and permits outdoor dining.

NPHET will meet this morning to consider the current situation, with 54 Covid-related deaths and 1,335 new cases reported yesterday in the Republic.

There were 78 new cases confirmed in Galway, 34 in Mayo, six in Sligo, five in Leitrim and less than five in Roscommon.

The number of people with the virus being treated in public hospitals has fallen to 1,598, while there are 212 patients in ICU nationally.

ICU consultant Alan Gaffney is vice-president of the Intensive Care Society and he says the situation is improving in critical care units.