Level Five has returned to Ireland now that Christmas has ended, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continue to soar.

Level Five is returning to Ireland now that Christmas has ended, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continue to soar.

Most of the restrictions will kick in from tomorrow, December 27, with household visits limited to one other family until January 1, and inter-county travel banned from this date.

In a different move to the last lockdown, non-essential retail will be permitted to open from today although St Stephen’s Day and January sales will have to be put on hold.

Health chiefs were on standby last night to receive Ireland’s first batch of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said he was “delighted” to sign the regulation clearing use of the jab, which arrives today.

It will be administered to the vulnerable from Wednesday.