The number of patients in public hospitals with Covid-19 has fallen below 500 for the first time this year.

Latest figures from the HSE show there’s 494 patients on wards, while there’s 117 in ICU with the disease.

There’s also been no ICU admissions in the past 24 hours for the first time in 2021.

It comes as the Tanaiste Leo Varadkar told his party colleagues a number of restrictions could be eased before May including the five kilometre travel limit.

Professor Philip Nolan, who chairs NPHET’s modelling group, says key indicators show Ireland’s coming to the end of this period of the pandemic.

But he says while our numbers are moving in the right direction, progress is slow.