A further 4,688 confirmed COVID cases have been announced this evening.
The total includes eight new Omicron cases, taking the total number of cases of the new variant in Ireland to 18.
This morning, there were 518 COVID-19 patients in Irish hospitals – 18 fewer than this day last week.
There were 108 in intensive care, which is two fewer than last week.
The five-day moving average is now 4,299.
The Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: “Today we are reporting a further eight cases of Omicron variant, confirmed by whole genome sequencing, bringing the total confirmed in Ireland to 18.
He said officials now estimate that 11% of cases are now due to the Omicron variant – up from 1% just one week ago.
“While evidence on disease severity and immune escape is still emerging, it is clear this variant is more transmissible,” he said.
“We are hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.
“Over the coming days and weeks global health authorities will learn more about this variant and the risks it poses. In the meantime, we continue to have confidence in the basic measures to reduce transmission.”
It comes as the Government prepares to unveil a plan to 'really accelerate' the booster campaign – with the HSE aiming to be able to administer 300,000 jabs a week.
The plan is due to be signed off on in the coming days and will include details of when the over-50s can get their booster.
The announcement will also include a plan for vaccinating children aged five to 11-years-old.
People were turned away from a walk-in vaccination centre in Punchestown again today as the system struggles to meet demand.
That came after long queues formed outside walk-in centres at UCD and Croke Park last week with people turned away due to lack of capacity.
On Newstalk Breakfast earlier, Immunology Professor Paul Moynagh warned that the perceived race between Omicron and the booster rollout will 'go on for some time'.
He said there is now “a lot of urgency” attached to rolling out the booster programme as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the Higher Education Minister Simon Harris told The Hard Shoulder that next year must be the year we learn to live alongside COVID.
“It has to be about a longer-term strategy as to how you safely live – with an emphasis on the word live,” he said. “People have to be able to live their lives with the virus.”