BREAKING: Taoiseach confirms new Covid-19 restrictions over the Christmas period

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BREAKING: Taoiseach confirms new Covid-19 restrictions over the Christmas period

An Taoiseach Michael Martin addressed the nation this lunchtime, confirming new restrictions are to come into place over the Christmas period as the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Ireland continue to rise. 

Speaking on RTE News Michael Martin confirmed that cabinet members agreed to return to Level 5 restrictions, with a number of exemptions, from Christmas Eve until at least January 12.

Worried about people socialising close to Christmas the Taoiseach confirmed that restaurants and gastro pubs are to close at 3pm on Christmas Eve, while there will be no inter county travel allowed after St Stephen's Day, as travel restrictions from the UK are to remain in place until New Year's Eve. 

The key points from An Taoiseach's speech:

Restaurants and gastro-pubs must close at 3pm on Christmas Eve.

Hairdressers are to close on Christmas Eve. 

Non-essential retail will remain open but shops will be asked to postpone January sales.

Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will remain open for individual training only.

No new inter-county travel will be allowed after St Stephen's Day.

Religious services will move online from December 26.

Hotels may only open for essential purposes after December 26

Household visits will be reduced to one other household from 27 December.

Travel restrictions from Britain will remain in place until December 31.

From January 1, no household mixing will be allowed except for compassionate reasons.

The number of wedding guests will be reduced to six from 2 January.

Schools will return as normal in January after the Christmas break.

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 and horse-racing and greyhound racing behind closed doors.