THE Cabinet has approved a series of measures to re-open the economy and ease Covid-19 restrictions ahead of Christmas.
Government ministers have approved a ‘balanced plan’ to ensure all retail, museums, libraries, gyms, tennis courts, churches and golf courses will re-open as the country moves to Level 3 from next Tuesday, December 1.
Restaurants and pubs that have a kitchen and serve food are permitted to re-open on Friday, December 4, despite grave concerns from the National Public Health Emergency Team regarding the re-opening of the hospitality sector.
Wet pubs will have to remain closed however for the foreseeable future, in a move which is sure to put extra pressure on publicans who fear for their future.
A series of measures were announced in the easing of restrictions, which include people being allowed to attend religious services again from Tuesday, December 1. Home visits for up to three households will commence on Friday, December 18 and they will run until Wednesday, January 6.
People will also be allowed to travel around the country in this same period.
The government has advised against hugging and shaking hands over Christmas however, while people will also be urged to wear a face-covering while serving or cooking dinner. People will also be advised to wear masks in crowded outdoor areas over the festive period.
The reopening of the economy will ensure that more than 30,000 people will be due to return to work in retail, hairdressers, and gyms from next Tuesday.
People will now be asked to wear face masks outdoors in crowded areas and on busy streets.