The Cabinet has agreed a new wave of Covid-19 restrictions, which will see the country return to Level 5, with some exceptions.
Visits from two households will be allowed on St Stephen’s Day but that will then be reduced to one household until December 31st and home visits will be banned completely in the new year, it is expected.
Bars and restaurants will close at 3pm on Christmas Eve, though gyms and non-essential retail will be permitted to stay open. Hairdressers and personal services will close from Christmas Eve.
Shops will also be asked not to hold sales.
Hotels will be permitted to open for Christmas, but it has not been decided yet whether they will be able to stay open for guests only after that.
Travel restrictions from Britain will remain in place until at least December 31st.