There have been 54 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Republic of Ireland.
The total number of people who have now tested positive for coronavirus stands at 223.
Of the new cases, 30 are male and 24 are female.
41 are associated with the east of the country, 11 are associated with the south and 2 are associated with the north/west.
The total number of people who have died from the virus in Ireland remains at two.
The figures were confirmed by the Department of Health tonight following a meeting of the National Public Health Emergency Team today.
Following that meeting, advice was issued that all Irish residents should avoid all non-essential travel overseas until March 29th.
Additionally, anyone entering the country from abroad should restrict their movement for 14 days if asymptomatic.
People have also been informed not to travel on cruise ships in the coming weeks.
These guidelines do not apply to Northern Ireland, which currently has 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
That brings the total number of people testing positive for coronavirus on the island to 275.
— Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyNews) March 16, 2020
Today, the WHO called on all countries to test every suspected case of COVID-19.
There are now five hospital sites around the country providing testing, with more to be added in the coming week.
It was revealed earlier that Croke Park is to be used as a "drive-thru" testing centre for COVID-19 following a request from the HSE.
Dr Tony Holohan, Chief Medical Officer at the Department of Health, said: “The behaviours we adopt in the next seven days will form the template for how we interrupt the spread of this virus over the coming months.
"We need to sustain social distancing, respiratory hygiene and these new ways of behaving if we are to succeed in minimising the threat posed by COVID-19."
The next 7 days are vital. Now is the time to #FlattenTheCurve.
Every one of us must play our part;
1. Reduce your social contacts – see only a handful of people in your network
2. Distance yourself 2 metres from people in shops & supermarkets #COVID19 #SocialDistancing pic.twitter.com/XlhusMYfiP
— Dr Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) March 16, 2020
It comes after the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he expects there will be a daily 30% rise in positive tests for the coronavirus here for the next few weeks.
Speaking at a meeting of the Cabinet Subcommittee on COVID-19 this evening, Mr Varadkar said there will be an “exponential increase” in the number of confirmed cases in Ireland the coming days.
At the same meeting, the Tánaiste Simon Coveney said all non-essential travel from Ireland should be avoided until at least March 29th.