RESTAURANTS and pubs are expected to be shut before New Years Eve under new plans to stop a worrying increase in the volume of new Covid-19 cases.
On Tuesday, the Government is likely to announce that increased measures will be introduced from December 30.
Pubs and restaurants will be able to remain open until that date, but will then have to close. An already different New Years Eve will now appear a stark reminder of the new ways of the world.
Further new measures designed to curb mixing of people on traditional date for parties and celebrations will see household visits restricted to just one other household.
Hotels, however, are likely to be able to remain open and non-essential retail, gyms and hairdressers will not be affected.
Inter-county travel, which was permitted again from Friday, will be allowed continue until January 6, although the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommending that it should be discontinued from December 28.
In a letter late in the week, NPHET outlined their concerns and Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government was ‘minded’ to follow the advice.
“That is very serious for the hospitality sector, that I acknowledge, and Government stands ready to support the hospitality sector during this very, very difficult period,” he added.
Ireland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said yesterday evening: “The situation is getting worse more rapidly than we expected. The country simply cannot cope with this level of infection as we head into Christmas week.
“Each one of us must do all we can to protect public health – cut your contacts, see only those who we need to see.
“Choose to socialise safely outdoors if possible. If you see a crowd, avoid it.”Tags: