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13.07 21 Dec 2020


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Coalition party leaders will meet tonight to discuss bringing forward a tightening of COVID-19 restrictions.

Cabinet meets tomorrow where an extension of the 48-hour travel ban from Britain is expected to be confirmed.

It is going to be a week of difficult decisions for the Government.

Ministers confirmed an unprecedented 48-hour travel ban from England, Scotland and Wales yesterday, but admit that will likely be extended.

The 48-hour window was about giving times to assess options and risk as the new strain of coronavirus spreads in the UK.

The other big decision is around bringing forward tighter restrictions here.

NPHET has recommended closing the hospitality sector, banning intercounty travel and limiting house guests from December 28th instead of the planned January 6th.

The plan from Government had been to alter NPHET's advice, closing hospitality on December 30th but allowing intercounty travel to continue until the 6th.

In light of the news over the weekend about the new strain of COVID-19, that idea will be reviewed and the timelines may change again when the party leaders meet tonight.

All while supply chains to Europe are being monitored given the sudden closure of the land bridge through the UK.

Reporting by Seán Defoe

Main image: Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan. Photo: Julie Behal Photography

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