Nphet advise government to close pubs and restaurants again on December 28

The National Public Health Emergency Team has urged the Government to reimpose restrictions on household visits and the hospitality sector from December 28.

In a letter to government, Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan’s team said home visits should be reduced to just one other household from three days after Christmas Day:

Nphet also said pubs and restaurants should close from this date.

The recommendations are made against the backdrop of rising new Covid-19 cases since the lockdown ended on December 1.

The cabinet will consider the recommendations next week.

Speaking on RTÉ Six One earlier, Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he was “very worried” about the growing cases numbers and confirmed that Nphet have recommended restrictions on household visits and on the hospitality sector be brought in before New Year’s Eve.

The Taoiseach said Nphet’s worries stem from a rise in cases among all ages and the resulting effect this may have on hospitalisations, ICU admissions and mortality.

“What Nphet is recommending is that we re-impose some restrictions in between Christmas and New Year’s, not getting to January 6 as we had hoped.

“The kind of restrictions we would be thinking about imposing between Christmas and New Year’s are restrictions on hospitality, essentially closing hospitality again and limiting household visits but not imposing a total ban on them”.

Retail and personal services would stay open, including non-essential retail, the Tánaiste said.

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