A further 102 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Ireland, the Department of Health announced this evening.
It brings the total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland to 785.
The HSE is now working to identify any contacts the 102 new coronavirus patients had in recent days to limit further spread of the virus.
The most recent breakdown of the figures, which included 584 cases up to last Thursday showed 13 people (2pc of cases) have been admitted to ICU.
A quarter of cases were linked to healthcare workers.
Dublin accounted for more than half (55pc) of all cases.
Community transmission now accounts for a larger portion of virus spread. More than a third of infected people (35pc) picked up covid-19 while travelling.
Another 23pc of cases are linked to close contact with other patients. Four in 10 cases (42pc) picked up covid-19 in the community.
Dr Ronan Glynn, Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “We must continue in our efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19 together, as a society, to protect our healthcare workers and our most vulnerable.”
Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan said officials are asking gardai to help the public abide to social distancing measures by dispersing large groups.
“The Department is aware that pubs in some areas of the country are continuing to open, in contravention of existing public health advice,” he said.
"If any such premises become known to us, the Minister will be advised to use his regulatory powers to enforce the temporary closure of premises in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“We are also asking An Garda Siochana to assist in encouraging the public to abide by the public health advice on social distancing by encouraging any groups congregating in public to disperse.”
Taking to social media this evening, gardaí called on teenagers to follow social distancing guidelines.
"Gardaí are being called to teens who are congregating for outdoor drinking sessions, please, please, please adhere to what we are being told to keep everyone safe," a garda spokesperson said.
"We are also getting calls of stone throwing causing danger to traffic."
Earlier today, Health Minister Simon Harris said that pubs who remain open will forcibly be shut by the government for not complying with a request to close and limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The minister is aware of a small number of pubs still operating and social media footage that appears to show customers still drinking in premises that are not complying with a request for bars to shut.
It comes as he confirmed households will start receiving new booklets next week with the help of An Post offering advice and answering frequently asked questions about the coronavirus.
The HSE is also set to start interviewing thousands of people who applied to work in the health service or return to work in the sector to help tackle the disease. The telephone interviews will start next week.
Harris said he is satisfied and proud of the lengths healthcare workers and citizens are going to in limiting the spread of the disease but conceded some people could do more.
He said he was very disappointed to hear of a small number of publicans still serving customers.
“Let me be very clear to those people. Last night the Oireachtas gave this Department and myself, as minister, emergency powers. The President of Ireland signed that in to law last night and we will shut you down if you’re a pub that is remaining open.
“You are letting down the people of this country. You are also letting down your fellow publicans who are helping out and complying, with great difficulty to them and their staff at a very challenging time.”
Independent.ie understands health officials have been notified of a small number of pubs, including a pub in Munster, which has opened to customers in recent days.
Harris met with medical leaders from across the country via teleconference today along with the department’s chief medical officer Tony Holohan, to discuss what medical professionals on the frontline are seeing as they work to address growing cases of coronavirus.
Last night it was confirmed another 126 people had tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number to 683. When asked today if the country is in a surge phase the Minister said: “We are in what the chief medical officer determines to be a delay phase. That basically means the coronavirus is here and we are doing everything we can to slim down its spread.
“It is highly likely we are going to see a significant increase in the number of cases in this country in the coming days and weeks.
‘Gardaí are being called to teens who are congregating for outdoor drinking sessions, please, please adhere to what we are being told to keep everyone safe. We are also getting calls of stone throwing causing danger to traffic’#SocialDistancing#WashYourHands pic.twitter.com/WzWyNLS4Rl— An Garda Síochána (@GardaTraffic) March 21, 2020
“The actions we take or don’t take, as a people, will help determine how many cases we see in two or three weeks time.”
The minister added he is satisfied measures currently in place will help slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
He said a significant amount of new personal protective equipment is due to arrive in the coming days, including 6.5 million more face masks.
The HSE said it has 35,000 coronavirus testing kits and another 20,000 kits are expected to arrive next week. To date more than 12,000 tests have been carried out.
“My department will also meet, along with other state agencies on Monday, with stakeholders from industry. We will meet with some of the pharma companies in Ireland, some of the medical devices companies, and this is to ensure we can absolutely maximise the access we have to medical devices in the coming days weeks and months.”
The minister said it was important people continue to practice social distancing on Mother’s Day tomorrow. He said people can still bring a gift to their mother, cook a meal and drop it to her doorstep, or find other innovative ways to stay in touch. He thanked all the mothers on the frontline in the medical and retail sectors who are helping others at present.
“I am very conscious we are asking people tomorrow to stay apart.
“Don’t let tomorrow pass just because you can’t visit your mum.”
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland saw its largest daily increase to date, with 22 new cases confirmed today.
There are 108 positive cases of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland, and one person has died so far.
Northern Ireland schools will close from Monday due to the coronavirus, except for key workers' children.
A list of key workers whose children will need to be provided for while they are working includes healthcare, nursery and teaching staff, members of the police, fire and prison services and those keeping public transport and the electric network operating.
PUBS who remain open will forcibly be shut by the government for not complying with a request to close and limit the spread of the coronavirus, Health Minister Simon Harris has said.