An additional 1,296 COVID cases have been confirmed today along with 6 further deaths.
It's the second day in a row that the cases have been over the 1,000 mark.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan said that "within a few short weeks of easing measures at the beginning of December, we have now returned to the very high levels of Covid-19 circulating in the community that we have not seen since the peak of Wave Two of this disease. This is very concerning".
"While today is a positive day with the arrival of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine, it does not mean that we can relax our adherence to public health measures.
"We must continue to stay at home, avoid social contact where possible, avoid visiting friends and family, and not have visitors to our homes."