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COVID-19 exemptions are only applicable until the Christmas season; Ireland will return to Level 3 in the first week of January

DUBLIN: The Government has announced an easing of the COVID-19 restrictions ahead of Christmas celebrations in the country. The Christmas ‘concessions’ will take effect on December 1, 4 and 18. On January 6, the country will return to the third level restrictions.

However, wet pubs are not allowed to open, instead takeaways and deliveries will be allowed. Taoiseach said the CRSS would provide additional long-term support to eligible businesses that are closing down due to public health restrictions imposed by the government to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

First day of concessions

From Tuesday, December 1, the entire country will move to level three in the COVID-19 plan. From this date on, people will not be allowed to leave their county except for work, education, and other necessities. Everyone who can should continue to work from home. Avoid associating with homes outside the bubble until Christmas week.

Face masks are mandatory on busy roads, workplaces and places of worship. Non-essential retail and services will be allowed to resume. Museums, galleries, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools and places of worship will open.

Gatherings of 15 people may take place outdoors, and non-contact training is allowed outdoors in pods of 15. Indoor dance and exercise classes are not allowed, and indoor exercise is limited to individual training only. Hotels and guest houses can be opened for residents only. Up to 25 guests can attend the wedding and up to 25 guests at the funeral.

No matches or events can take place, except for professional and elite sports, approved inter-county GAA games, horse racing and approved equestrian events, and all of these must take place behind closed doors. Public transport capacity will be limited to 50%.

Second day of concessions

From next Friday, December 4, restaurants, hotels, and gastro pubs (with their own kitchen and meals prepared on site) may reopen for indoor dining with additional restrictions.

Wet pubs will not reopen. However, Taoiseach said more concessions would be made in the New Year to help pub owners. Pubs can continue takeaways and deliveries. Higher education will continue to be online.

Third day of concessions

The rules allow for a two-week exemption from the rules to celebrate Christmas from December 18th.

From this date until January 6, travel outside of your county will be permitted. This will allow people to go home for Christmas and so on. During this period, you can visit up to three houses in Indore and travel across the border from north to south.

After January 6, the level 3 restrictions that existed before December 18 will come into effect again.

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