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Covid-19 and Christmas: Measures to counter rapidly rising infections

Level 5 restrictions will apply with some adjustments.

In the last week, we have seen extraordinary growth in the spread of the virus. Please think carefully about your plans. Keep your family safe and make sure that the safety of vulnerable people in our community is the main priority for you and your family. 

From midnight on 24th December, Level 5 restrictions will apply with some adjustments. 

Transitional arrangements will apply for the Christmas period. 

Hospitality sector

  • From 3pm on 24th December, restaurants and pubs operating as restaurants will close. Hotels may provide food and bar services only to guests. 
  • Hotel bookings already in place for guests due to check in no later than 26th December may be honoured. 

Social and family visits

  • Up to midnight on 26th December, social and family visits from up to two other households will be permitted.
  • From 27th December to midnight on 31st December, social and family visits from one other household will be permitted.
  • From 1st January, no social or family visits are permitted, indoors or outdoors, except for essential family reasons such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people or as part of a support bubble. 


  • Travel outside your county will continue to be permitted up to and including 26th December. People who are away from their place of residence after that date will be permitted to return home. 

Religious Services

  • Christmas religious services may take place but will move online after 25th December. Places of worship may remain open for private prayer. 


  • Weddings can have up to 25 guests up to 2nd January 2021, and 6 guests from 3rd January.

  • Non-essential retail may remain open. The sector is being asked to defer January sales. 
  • Gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools may remain open for individual training only
  • Hotels may open only for essential, non-social and non-tourist purposes.
  • We must remain within our county apart from travel for work, education or other essential purposes.
  • Non-contact sports training in pods of up to 15 may take place outdoors. 
  • Golf and outdoor tennis may continue within your county. 
  • Sports matches and events should not take place – except for professional and elite participants, horse racing, greyhound racing and approved equestrian events behind closed doors.

Current restrictions on travel from Britain to Ireland will remain in place until at earliest 31 December. This restriction will be kept under constant review. 

For full details of Level 5, adjustments to Level 5 and transitional arrangements for the Christmas and New Year period, go to gov.ie

Sponsored by:

Government of Ireland

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