Border counties may be moved to level 4 restrictions this week if Northern Ireland opts for a circuit break lockdown.
The Chief Medical Officer in the North has recommended a six week lockdown to limit the increasing spread of COVID after almost 4,000 cases were confirmed across the island over the weekend.
Government sources here say that could mean a level 4 recommendation for counties like Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan which have some of the highest rates of infection in the country.
221 people are now in hospital with covid-19.
It means 20 people have been hospitalised with the virus over the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, two people have been admitted to intensive care units in the same time.
As a result, there are now 32 confirmed cases in ICU's.
In terms of the nations 14-day incidence rate, it has grown by 38% in the past week.
The national total now stands at 158.5 per 100 thousand population.
Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal have a rate of infection of more than 300 per 100 thousand, with Cavan’s incidence rate doubling in the past two days alone.
The figures come as the World Health Organisation says national lockdowns should only be used in extreme circumstances.
Dr David Nabarro, special envoy for the WHO on Covid-19, says lockdowns don’t eliminate the virus.
"Only use nationwide major lockdowns in really extreme circumstances where things are bad.
That's simply because you don't get rid of the virus with a lockdown - you hold it in place. You get rid of the virus by isolating people with the disease."