Daily Covid-19 testing figures have shown a significant number of newly diagnosed cases on both sides of the Irish border on Saturday.
In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health said 118 new cases have been reported in the past 24 hours.
Its weekend figures are not full statistics and it does not provide details of coronavirus-related deaths on Saturdays or Sundays.
In the Republic of Ireland, 231 new cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed.
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More than half (58%) of the new infections recorded in the Republic were in Dublin, with 133 positive tests in the county.
Ireland’s Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Ronan Glynn described that as a “significant number” and said it was now “important that people in Dublin keep their social contacts as low as possible”.
On Saturday evening, Taoiseach (Irish prime minister) Micheál Martin urged people to “heed the words” of Mr Glynn.
Irish health authorities have opened two “pop-up Covid-19 swabbing centres” at Croke Park and at Castleknock Health Centre in response to the increase in the infection rate in the capital.
County Kildare, which recently emerged from a local lockdown, had the second highest number of new cases on Saturday with 18 positive tests.
This was followed by County Limerick which has 13 new cases.
Overall, more than two thirds (69%) of the new cases recorded by the Irish Health Protection Surveillance Centre are people under 45 years of age.
No new coronavirus-related deaths were reported on Saturday so the Republic’s death toll remains at 1,777.
In Northern Ireland, the Department of Health’s death toll stands at 564.
However, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra), which produces more comprehensive figures, said on Friday that Covid-19 had been mentioned on 873 death certificates by 28 August.
Since the pandemic began, 250,425 individuals have been tested for Covid-19 across Northern Ireland.
Of those, 7,621 people have tested positive for the virus, meaning that about 3% of the individuals tested have returned a positive result.