Hairdressers and gyms to reopen next week, restaurants may have to wait

Hairdressers and gyms could reopen next week but restaurants may have to wait.
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Digital Desk Staff

Hairdressers and gyms may be allowed to open from next week with religious services also returning in the Government's plan for exiting Level 5, while restaurants may have to wait until later in December.

Cabinet met this morning as Government continues to work on plans for the country to exit Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.

Restrictions on travel could also be eased later in December to allow small family gatherings for Christmas.

It is expected that the country will move to Level 3 “with modifications,” a Government official told The Irish Times.

Cabinet sources from all three coalition parties said Ministers will push for the reopening of shops, restaurants and churches from next week.

Personal contacts

However, the Government is eager to avoid another spike in Covid-19 cases and the need for more restrictions in January.


With this in mind, limits on personal contacts are likely along with measures to limit gatherings involving alcohol.

This means the reopening of restaurants and pubs is likely to be delayed until later in December.

Lobbying from all industries, particularly restaurateurs, was described as “off the charts” by political sources.

Some Cabinet sources said they would push for indoor dining at restaurants to be permitted from next Tuesday while another Minister argued that pubs have had a “really tough year” and should be allowed to reopen.

However, there is a growing belief that so-called 'wet pubs' — pubs that do not serve food — will not be allowed to reopen until the New Year.

"Every contact counts."

One Government source said “every contact counts” as the difficult decision over balancing public health and the economy and livelihoods is considered.

Government officials are believed to be studying the impact of the Thanksgiving holidays in the United States and Canada on Covid-19 numbers.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) has moved its weekly meeting forward to Wednesday and Government will listen to the group's advice before finalising a plan on Thursday or Friday.

The exit from Level 5 will be debated in the Dáil this afternoon.


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