The new Covid-19 variant is now in Ireland, according to NPHET.
It comes as up to 20 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed locally this evening.
Latest figures show there are 16 positive tests in Kilkenny, and less than 5 in Carlow.
It’s among 938 new cases nationwide and 13 additional deaths.
300 of the new case are in Dublin, 110 in Cork, 72 in Limerick, 68 in Donegal and 41 in Kildare.
The 14 day incidence rate is now 153 cases per 100,000 people – it was 88 this day last week.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ronan Glynn says the situation is now at its most serious since last March.