LEO VARADKAR has reportedly confirmed that the Irish government is planning to ease Ireland’s lockdown restrictions for two weeks over Christmas.
According the Irish Mirror, the easing of restrictions will come as part of a phased reopening of businesses across the country.
The Fine Gael leader told the news provider that the retail industry will be among the first to reopen along with gyms, hairdressers and businesses providing other personal services.
He added that pubs serving food and restaurants may also reopen during the second week of December under the plans being discussed.
Varadkar’s remarks come as the government continues to iron out details of Ireland’s planned exit from the Level 5 restrictions due to end at the start of next month.
Under the plans, the current 5km limit on travel is set to be lifted while RTE News is reporting that officials are set to announce that up to three households will be allowed to gather over Christmas under the plans.
The ban on non-essential travel outside your own county is expected to stay in place though it will be lifted during Christmas week.
A modified version of the Level 3 restrictions previously in place across large areas of Ireland is thought to be favoured by many inside the government including Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
All such plans are subject to the final recommendations of NPHET, which is due to meet today before providing its final assessment to ministers.
Dr Tony Holohan is due to meet with the likes of Dr Ronan Glynn and Professor Philip Nolan to discuss the current state of affairs with any recommendation expected to then be passed on to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly.
The cabinet is expected to meet later this week, where a final plan will be signed off on and announced by Taoiseach Micheal Martin in an address to the nation expected to take place this coming Friday.