”I would say we need to reverse back into stage two.”

A virus expert claims Ireland needs to reimpose restrictions due to a big spike in cases yesterday.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the increase is concerning and the situation will be closely monitored in the coming days.

The 85 cases of the virus confirmed in the Republic yesterday was the highest since May 22nd, over two months ago.

Nearly three quarters of the cases were among people under the age of 45 and at least 18 were part of a cluster at a dog food factory in Co Kildare.

Infectious diseases professor Sam McConkey says it’s not a sign of a second wave – but it is second ripple.

”We’re going to see lots of second ripples and every time we see small jump whether its 20 or 40 or 80,” he said.

”So we have to really react and preemptively learn from those outbreaks and not just change the single outbreak where the outbreak occurred.

”But every single workplace needs to learn from it”.

The cabinet will decide next Tuesday whether to allow phase 4 of the reopening plan to go ahead on August 10th, allowing pubs to reopen.

But Professor Gerry Killeen, from UCC, says that certainly shouldn’t go ahead – he also believes we should reimpose restrictions.

”I would say we need to reverse back into stage two and then soup it up and take this epidemic to it’s end point,” he said.

The National Public Health Emergency Team saying this evening’s figures will be crucial in assessing if further action is needed.