Ireland Reduces Restrictions for Busy Christmas Period

IRELAND has reduced lockdown restrictions to allow shops and other businesses to reopen for the busy Christmas period.

As of Tuesday, the country will be placed in Level 3 of restrictions, allowing non-essential businesses to reopen. For the last six weeks, Ireland has been on Level 5, with similar restrictions to those imposed in Spring when the pandemic was at its peak.

Shops, hairdressers, museums, and libraries can all reopen as can gyms and swimming pools. Golf and tennis are now allowed again, and gatherings of 15 people can take place outdoors. Restaurants will open on Friday alongside pubs that sell food, while ‘wet pubs’ with no kitchens will remain closed.

Until the 18th of December, households are not allowed to meet others outside of their bubble, and people are required to stay in their county of residence unless their journey is essential for work, education, or medical reasons. These rules will end on Christmas week and come back into place on January 6th.

The government advises wearing facemasks on busy streets and during religious gatherings. Ireland’s Deputy PM Leo Varadkar backtracked on comments suggesting that people should not cross the Northern Irish border but added that people must be cautious in their travels.

‘We’re trying to contain a killer disease here,’ said the Tanaiste, ‘People need to be responsible in how they travel and how they move around so that we can limit the spread of this deadly disease’.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...