Government ministers are meeting to discuss whether or not to accept a recommendation to move to a second lockdown.
Their meeting got underway around 3.00pm on Saturday.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan, Dr Ronan Glynn and Professor Philip Nolan will make a presentation to the senior ministers this afternoon.
They will then take questions from them, before the three party leaders - Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan - as well as the Ministers for Health, Finance and Public Expenditure will meet privately to consider whether to accept that recommendation of moving to level five.
Speaking as he arrived at Government Buildings, Mr Ryan said he would listen to the experts - but that the outbreak had "stabilised" in several counties.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar arriving a short time ago, and saying nothing. Ministers will be sitting down shortly to decide what to do about Nphet's advice last night to put the country on level five public health restrictions for the next six weeks. pic.twitter.com/uqz5BIZRMD
— Stephen Bourke (@AnBurcach) October 17, 2020
Other options on the table include moving the entire country up to level four, or leaving the current level three restrictions unchanged and seeing how they play out over the next few days.
Government sources say it is unlikely a full Cabinet meeting will be called tonight.
This puts question marks over the timeline of when a decision will be made.
However they stress they do not want to be rushed into it, given the impact it will have on wider society and the fact that hundreds of thousands of jobs would be lost overnight if they decided to go to level five.
Reporting by: Sean Defoe