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22.54 26 Nov 2020


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Restaurants and gastro pubs are set to be allowed open in December, despite NPHET advice.

After an almost five-hour meeting this evening, the coalition party leaders and a number of senior ministers have decided to go against NPHET advice and open restaurants and gastro pubs next month.

The trade off, however, will be stricter rules on household gatherings around Christmas.

The decisions are subject to full Cabinet approval on Friday.

NPHET had recommended restaurants and pubs be takeaway only - but they will now be allowed to open to dine-in customers at some stage over the next two weeks.

Retail and other services such as hairdressers, barbers and gyms will have the green light to open next week.

However, pubs that only serve drink are likely to stay closed.

NPHET had recommended either reopening hospitality or strict rules on household gatherings.

Instead, the approach put to ministers tomorrow will be a bit of both - including fewer people being able to visit a household in the week of Christmas than previously planned.

The instruction to stay within your county is also going to stay in place until 18th December at least, after which there will be a window when travel across the country for Christmas will be allowed.

Cabinet will meet on Friday to sign off on the measures.

Reporting by Sean Defoe
Main image: File photo. Picture by: Jens Kalaene/DPA/PA Images

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