The Department of Health has confirmed 7,333 new cases of Covid-19 this afternoon.
It's the third-highest number of new infections since the pandemic reached Ireland.
410 patients are being treated in hospitals - down 10 on yesterday's figures.
107 are in ICU - up 2 on yesterday.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan says a "large number of cases" can expected over the "next short period of time".
Recent international experience and the rapid spread of the highly transmissible #Omicron variant here means we can expect to see a large number of cases over the next short period of time.
— Dr Tony Holohan (@CMOIreland) December 18, 2021
Meanwhile, the Taoiseach says Ministers are working this weekend to plan schemes that will support those affected by the most recent round of restrictions.
Pubs, restaurants, theatres and cinemas must close at 8pm each night under the new rules, while indoor events cannot continue after that time.
Events indoors are also limited to 50 percent capacity up to 1,000 people, and outdoor events are also limited to 50 percent capacity or 5,000 people.
Michéal Martin says the PUP will be available to support workers in those scenarios.