Here are the new restrictions being considered for Christmas 1 month ago

Here are the new restrictions being considered for Christmas

They're in talks this morning.

With cases rising and new variants emerging, further Covid restrictions for Christmas are being discussed by the Government as they meet today.

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Reduced capacity for pubs and indoor hospitality and limits on the number of households that can mix over the festive season are likely to be brought in.

As they await Nphet's recommendations, there was an expectation that major restrictions would be proposed.

So what should we expect from cabinet? People may be asked to restrict the number of other households they mix with over Christmas, with three expected to be allowed to visit a fourth.

There is also an expectation there will be a limit placed on indoor hospitality as the size of group bookings in pubs and restaurants is set to be brought down.

Covid certs are also expected to play a bigger role as there will be stricter rules placed on their use in a wider range of settings over Christmas.

Several sources told The Irish Times that with the potential spread of the new variant, it would be hard for the Government to ignore any new public health recommendations.

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Other sources said there was likely to be a focus on complying with the current regulations, with supports for hospitality to be introduced by cabinet.

You will also need an antigen test from Sunday up to 48 hours before arriving in Ireland from abroad, or a PCR test up to 72 hours prior to your arrival. This was pushed back 48 hours after opposition from the public.

Dr Cillian De Gascun, a leading member of Nphet, said yesterday he was “hopeful” schools could reopen after Christmas if the situation remains the same despite the Taoiseach adamant they won't be closing.

Dr Colm Henry, the Health Service Executive’s chief clinical officer, also noted that the booster roll out will also be important here as he warned of breakthrough infections of those jabbed three times.

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“The greater number of cases out there in the community, the greater amount of community transmission, the greater the likelihood is that you will see breakthrough infection," he said.