With several specific adjustments, from Dec. 24 until Jan. 12, the people of Ireland will be facing tougher measures in response to the rising cases and the increasing threat of the new Covid-19 strain, currently circulating in the United Kingdom.
“Figures suggest that we may now be seeing a daily growth rate of approximately 10%. This is very obviously, a source of serious concern, and is simply not sustainable,” Martin said.
Here's a look at the new restrictions:
- The new restrictions, which will go into effect on Christmas Eve, will see maximum disruptions made to the retail, hospitality, leisure, and the travel sectors, with additional measures taken to limit social contact between people.
- Nonessential retail can stay open, but the retail sector is asked to postpone January sales events.
- Restaurants and pubs must close and can only provide take away and delivery.
- Gyms, leisure centers, and swimming pools may remain open, but only for individual training.
- Schools, early learning and childcare services will remain open, but higher education should remain primarily online.
- Socially, up to two other households can visit someone’s else’s home up to and including Dec. 26. After that, this number decreases to one household up to and including the Dec. 31. Starting on Jan. 1, no visits can take place in private homes/gardens aside from exemptions set by government guidelines.
While acknowledging that the tougher measures are difficult, especially in this usually festive season, the prime minister assured the nation that the measures are necessary, and preventive.
He went on to say that even though there is no hard evidence that the new strain of the virus has arrived in Ireland, the “safest and the most responsible thing to do is to proceed on the assumption that it is already here”.
These measures are to be reviewed on Jan. 12, 2021.