The head of the HSE says there are "positive indications" Ireland has reached the peak of the Omicron wave.
Paul Reid says the rise in Covid hospitaliations has steadied and there has been a reduction in GP referrals for testing.
Latest figures show 1,011 people are in hospital with the virus and 92 are in ICU, while yesterday saw a further 18,904 cases reported.
Mr Reid says he's "cautiously hopeful" there are early signs the peak of the current wave has been reached.
Change In Close Contact Rules
The news comes as changes in close contact rules come into effect from today.
Asymptomatic close contacts who've been boosted no longer need to stay at home, but instead are asked to take regular antigen tests and wear medical grade face masks when out in public, for 10 days.
Close contacts who have not received a booster vaccine will have to restrict their movements for seven days - while those who contract Covid 19 will now have to isolate for seven, rather than 10 days.
Also from today people who test positive on an antigen test can upload their result and list their close contacts through the HSE's website.
The HSE says in order to ensure misuse is limited, anyone wishing to obtain a recovery cert will need to get a PCR test or professionally administered antigen test.