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End of the road Inter-county travel ban and limit on household gatherings now in effect

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Gardaí will be enforcing the new inter-county travel ban at checkpoints across the nation from today.

Gardaí will be enforcing the new inter-county travel ban at checkpoints across the nation from today.

Gardaí will be enforcing the new inter-county travel ban at checkpoints across the nation from today.

A ban on inter-county travel and a limit on the number of households allowed to mix came into effect at midnight last night.

As part of the further restrictions announced by government on Tuesday, people are not permitted to travel outside their county, unless they are travelling back to their place of residence after the Christmas break.

Inter-county travel for essential reasons such as work, caring for a relative or educational purposes is still permitted.

As of today, households will only be permitted to mix with one other household, reducing the number from three, to combat the rising number of infections the country is experiencing.

From January 1st no visitors are allowed except for essential family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people, or as part of a support bubble.

Up to 25 people can attend a wedding up until and including January 2nd. This is reduced to six guests from January 3rd.

Churches and places of worship can only have private and online worship only. Up to 10 mourners can attend a funeral.

While hotels can serve food to guests only.

This morning, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid asked people to revise their New Year’s plans in order to “stay safe” as he confirmed the number of daily tests being carried out is the highest ever at 23,000.

He also described it as “alarming” that positivity rates of cases in the community have now risen to 10pc. Which is among the highest they have been since the peak of the pandemic back in April.

Almost 1,300 new cases were confirmed by the Department of Health yesterday, while Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday evening that the current trajectory was taking the nation towards 2,000 new cases per day in the first week in January.

Nphet updated their guidance to government on Wednesday, advising all non-essential retail be closed from December 26 to try and stem the spread of Covid-19.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said this morning on Newstalk that the cabinet will consider the recommendation when they meet on Tuesday, but pointed towards a lag in the current restrictions taking effect, hinting that cabinet will keep non-essential retail open in the near future.

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