Ireland now has the highest daily number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world for every million people, according to figures published by the Our World in Data organisation.
Ireland's seven day rolling average is 1,394 cases per million – ahead of the UK on 810, Portugal on 735 and the USA on 653.
The research website is linked to Oxford University.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he believes people should now wear face coverings when they are "out and about".
He said some popular areas where people go to take exercise are getting quite crowded and he believes people should wear masks in those settings.
Speaking on Newstalk radio, Mr Martin said that he believed increased socialisation, the new variant and seasonality had all contributed to the current situation.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, has called on the Government to immediately introduce strict protocols for all international arrivals to help stem the growth of Covid-19 here.
“Foreign travel should be restricted to only those cases that are absolutely essential and for those that do arrive, strict protocols are needed to prevent the spread of Covid-19", Deputy O'Rourke said.
“The requirement of a negative pre-departure test must be extended to arrivals from all countries, not just those from Britain and South Africa as is currently the case".