The Taoiseach says he regrets the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions in the run-up to Christmas.
Michael Martin's told the Mail on Sunday that in hindsight, the government wouldn't have relaxed measures in the way it did.
Health officials have said the reopening of pubs and restaurants in December was a major factor in the recent surge of infection.
The 5-day average is now just over a thousand cases - and there are 1,203 people with the virus in hospital.
Kingston Mills, an immunology professor at Trinity College Dublin, says the figures need to fall further: