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Pub and restaurants expected to close their doors on 30 Dec, while inter-county travel set to continue until 6 January

Cabinet will meet on Tuesday to sign off on new post-Christmas restrictions.

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GOVERNMENT SOURCES HAVE revealed that restaurants and gastro pubs will have to close their doors on 30 December, seven days earlier than originally planned 

While the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) called for the re-imposition of inter-county travel restrictions before the New Year, it is understood that government is minded to keep to the original plan, allowing travel between counties until and including 6 January.

The Taoiseach said yesterday that the date for the current restrictions is likely to be brought forward, with “Level 3 plus” likely to be in place before the New Year.

However, the exact restrictions are to be decided by Cabinet when it meets this coming Tuesday.

Speaking yesterday, Micheál Martin described the latest advice from NPHET as “significant restrictions” that come amid the “rapid growth” of Covid-19 cases.

Restaurateurs, hoteliers and publicans called for clarity yesterday on what date they might have to close, with the 28 December being recommended by NPHET. 

It is now understood that Cabinet is to dissent from the advice given, instead telling these businesses to have their doors shut by close of business on 30 December.

Government is also set to decide on not following NPHET’s advice to ban inter-county travel from the same date.

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It is understood there are concerns that families have already made their plans for Christmas which involves inter-county travel.

Government understands that some people will have left their home county to stay with loved ones in another county in and around Christmas Day, and have an expected return date set.

The new post-Christmas restrictions recommended by NPHET would also mean that just one household can visit another, though what date that restriction would kick in is yet to be determined.

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