Micheál Martin: "The road we are on is hard."
The Cabinet has agreed that Level 5 restrictions will continue until at least March 5.
At a meeting on Tuesday afternoon, the Cabinet agreed new rules on travel into the country.
People travelling into the country without a negative Covid-19 test, and all those arriving from Brazil and South Africa, will face a mandatory14-day quarantine period.
Everyone arriving into the country will have to self-isolate for a period including those returning from overseas to the State via Northern Ireland.
Those who arrive from abroad into the State via Northern Ireland will also face fines or imprisonment if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days.
The new measures include Garda checkpoints 5km from the Border with Northern Ireland in an effort to reduce unnecessary travel.
Legislation is also to be introduced for the first time to impose fines on people travelling from Northern Ireland who are not essential workers.
Speaking on Tuesday afternoon Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government is extending the restrictions “with a view to crushing the numbers of those contracting the disease and in turn the numbers needing hospitalisation and intensive care”.
"The road we are on is hard. The length of time we have had to live with restrictions makes it even harder but it is the road we must take together," Mr Martin said.
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