The Irish government is considering implementing new COVID-19-related health and safety restrictions for the hospitality sector on December 28.
As reported by rte.ie, the government will decide whether to implement new restrictions for the hospitality sector on Tuesday December 22, however, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that they are "very minded" to follow advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to implement the proposed restrictions from Monday December 28.
Martin stated that due to a rising number of COVID-19 cases over the past week, there is a desire to avoid a further increase in the number of cases following New Year's Eve, and that the government "stands ready" to support hospitality businesses.
Minister For Health Statements
Meanwhile, minister for health Stephen Donnelly stated that NPHET has recommended a return to level three restrictions from December 28, and that it has "essentially recommended closing down hospitality and retail should remain open."
Donnelly said on RTÉ's Drivetime radio show that if the proposed new restrictions are implemented, the length of time that they will be in place "will depend on what happens with the virus."
He added, "What we all anticipated, which was a lot more socialisation around the Christmas period, has happened, and that has driven the virus up."
Chief Medical Officer Statements
Meanwhile, the Republic's chief medical officer, Doctor Tony Holohan, said that the level of social contact in the country has increased to a level with which the country cannot cope, and, speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland radio show, he urged people to reduce social contacts to help curb the spread of the virus.
Household Visits And Inter-county Travel Recommendations
NPHET has also recommended a reduction in the number of households from which people can have visitors in their homes from three to one and that inter-county travel should stop.
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