The country is on the verge of going into what has been described as a Level 5 minus following a dramatic increase in the number of Covid cases.
A steady increase in the virus across the country in recent days has forced the Cabinet to act quicker than expected.
The Cabinet Committee on Covid-19 met last night and are meeting again this morning.
A range of recommendations are expected in a bid to curb the spread over Christmas.
Restaurants and gastro pubs may close from around lunch-time on 24 December under plans which will be put before Cabinet today.
Inter-county travel will be banned from midnight on St Stephen’s Day while the ban on travel to and from Britain will be extended to 31 December.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan were briefed by Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan on the significant spike in new cases of Covid-19.
Mr Holohan told the meeting that Level 5 restrictions will be needed after Christmas to stop the spread of the virus.
The meeting was held after the Government banned flights and passenger flights from Britain due to the emergence of a new strain of the coronavirus which spreads more rapidly.
Restaurants and pubs had been due to remain open until December 30 and inter-county was expected to be permitted up to January 6.
However, the rise in new cases coupled with concerns over the new strain has forced the Government to rethink their approach for the Christmas period.Tags: