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The Republic of Ireland is set to move into the toughest coronavirus restriction this week, Prime Minister Michael Martin said on Monday night.
PM Martin hopes that the move will allow the public to celebrate Christmas “in a meaningful way” as the restriction is expected to end on December 1.
Ireland is expected to move to tier-5 on Wednesday midnight in a bid to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus.
According to the government’s five-tier living with COVID-19 roadmap, residents are advised to work from home if they can.
Restaurants and cafe will only operate on takeaway and delivery basis, while all non-essential shops, barbers, hairdressers and salons will be closed for three weeks.
Under the five-tier, guests at weddings will remain 25 until the end of 2020.
Residents will be able to exercise for at least 5km (3 miles) from their homes.
Schools, we well as elite-level sports and construction will remain open.
The Prime Minister said re-imposing a national lockdown wasn’t an option except that the rate of infections was “too strong” to ignore.
He said “Even as the winter comes in, there is hope, and there is light. If we pull together over the next six weeks, we will have the chance to celebrate Christmas in a meaningful way.”
“We must persevere and we must be resilient,” he added.
“We will suppress this virus and we will emerge from these restrictions on 1 December.’
The Prime Minister said the government is ready to assist individual and businesses with financial support.
Priority will also be given to mental health services to assist during the lockdown.
The government reached the decision to move the country into the toughest restriction after a meeting at Government Buildings in Dublin on Monday evening and based on health experts recommendations.
Ireland currently has a total of 50,000 cases of COVID-19 with 1,031 being the new cases confirmed on Monday.