The government has announced the re-introduction of full Level 5 COVID-19 restrictions.
From 6pm tomorrow, all gyms and non-essential businesses are to close.
In an address tonight, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said this will be the case for at least a month.
No visitors are permitted to private homes from tonight, unless part of a support bubble, or for caring purposes.
Travel for non-essential reasons is to again be limited to within 5km of peoples’ homes.
Schools’ Christmas holidays are to be extended until January 11th, but in this evening’s address the Taoiseach insisted that they are safe, and that the purpose for delaying their re-opening was to ensure that families have an opportunity to minimise contacts before children return to the classroom.
Tonight’s announcement came after this evening saw the confirmation of 40 new COVID-19 diagnoses in Clare.
These were among the 1,718 new COVID-19 cases in Ireland, which is the highest recorded since the beginning of the pandemic. The Taoiseach has warned that those numbers will deteriorate further over the coming days.