Ireland is going back into a level five lockdown from midnight on December 24th until January 12th.
However there will be a number of specific adjustments to the restrictions, and certain arrangements will apply during the Christmas period.
There will also be a double rate of the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) paid for two weeks to businesses significantly impacted by the restrictions.
They will also be entitled commercial rate relief for the first three months of 2021.
And the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) is also available to help maintain people in jobs, along with tax warehousing arrangements, reduced VAT rates and other schemes.
But this is a new type of level five, with some changes to the previous lockdown.
These changes are:
- Non-essential retail may remain open. The retail sector has been asked to defer January sales events
- Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may remain open for individual training only
- Hotels may only open for essential non-social and non-tourist purposes except for guests who already have a booking and are due to check-in up to and including December 26th
- People must remain within their county (as opposed to within 5K of their home) apart from travel for work, education or other essential purposes
- Non-contact training in pods of up to 15 may take place outdoors
- No matches/events should take place except for professional and elite sports, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events behind closed doors
- Golf and outdoor tennis can continue within county
While specific arrangements for the Christmas period are as follows:
Restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants will close from 3.00pm on December 24th. Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after that point
Up to and including December 26th: Visits from up to two other households will be permitted
Up to and including December 31st: Visits from one other household will be permitted
From January 1st: No visitors are permitted in private homes/gardens - except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble
And for those who are part of a support bubble, the bubble counts as one household
Travel outside your county will continue to be permitted up to and including 26th December
Those away from their place of residence after that period will be permitted to return to their place of residence
The Government has also agreed that the current restrictions on travel from Britain to Ireland should remain in place until at least December 31st
Christmas religious services may take place, but will move online after December 25th
Up to 10 mourners only permitted at funerals
Up to and including January 2nd: Weddings can have up to 25 guests
From January 3rd: Weddings can have up to six guests.
Childcare services, early learning and schools remain open - while higher, further and adult education should remain primarily online
Museums, galleries, libraries and other cultural attractions are closed