The Taoiseach says he cannot guarantee society will reopen fully as planned on October 22.
Micheál Martin said on Wednesday that a “very serious” presentation by health officials about a spike in cases, is “having an impact”.
He said a meeting would be held next week with government and health officials on whether nightclubs and other indoor venues can reopen as planned.
“I can’t guarantee you right now, but I mean we have to wait for formal presentation from NPHET, no decisions have been made,” Micheál Martin said.
Mr Martin said there had been a meeting of senior officials this morning, chaired by the Secretary-General and the presentation by the deputy chief medical officer “was a serious one.”
“The trajectory disease is rampant. We’ve been told this has been described as a sudden increase in the last week of case numbers.
“I think we’re looking at over 2000 case numbers today and they want to see more data.
“They want to analyse this a bit more. And so we are going to reflect on and we will engage with the authorities public health authorities and the HSE,” he said.
Mr Martin said a final decision would be made closer to October 22.
“Suffice to say that it’s very very important that the public at large realise that Covid is not gone.
“The variant is dangerous, numbers are higher in hospitals and they’re having an impact on the hospital system.
“So those out there who haven’t got the vaccine, I would urge people to get the vaccine, because it does protect you that serious illness and hospitalisation.”
Addressing the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting, Mr Martin said the “sudden increase in cases and deaths is a cause for concern”.
Mr Martin told the meeting there are some issues of concern with Covid.
“There has been a sudden increase of cases and mortality has been rising compared rot the summer. We will weigh everything up as we progress towards the 22nd,” he said.
He said the Government’s advisory group on vaccines, NIAC, is expected to make the recommendation on the roll out of Booster jabs over the coming days.
“Once the decision is made we will ensure that the vaccines will be rolled out without delay,” he said.
The Taoiseach noted that the country had a high rate of vaccination which changed the situation profoundly from this time last year but there were still matters for concern.
“In respect of the growth in incidents, in terms of the patterns of the disease affecting all age groups at this stage, so that is a matter of concern and therefore you have to feed that into what whatever decision you make,” he said.
“The vaccination transforms the situation, it’s not like it was last year, the economy is doing well, the recovery has been faster than we thought, economic recovery, jobs.
“We have to keep it in perspective.”