From close contacts and antigen tests to pub closing times: everything you need to know about the latest restrictions

Pubs, late night bars and nightclubs will have to close at midnight and people will be asked to work from home under the latest Government announcement on restrictions.

aoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to this evening announce the new measures, designed to curb spiralling virus numbers, to the nation in a televised address.

Here are all the details about the latest restrictions:

Closing hours

Cabinet Ministers agreed this morning on new closing hours for the hospitality sector.

Restaurants, pubs, late night bars and nightclubs will close at midnight, 12am, from Thursday night.

It comes mere weeks after nightclubs were allowed to reopen on October 22 for the first time since March 2020.

Back to work

The Government has been forced to do a u-turn on its phased return to office advice after the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) recommended in its letter last week that people should work from home where possible.

After a “grim” presentation by public health to senior ministers last night, the Government will now put a big emphasis on people working from home and only going into the office if it is absolutely necessary.

Covid pass

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan last week said that he was in favour of the Covid pass being extended beyond the hospitality sector and into sectors such as hairdressers, barbers and gyms.

However, Cabinet Ministers decided this morning that passes will be instead made mandatory for cinemas and theatres.

Currently, cinemas and theatres must have Covid passes in operation if they have 100pc capacity.

Ministers decided against extending the passes to beauty salons, hairdressers, barbers or gyms.

Household contacts

Fully vaccinated or unvaccinated household contacts of confirmed cases will have to restrict their movements for five days.

Currently, fully vaccinated close contacts of confirmed cases do not have to restrict their movements and are sent a pack of four antigen tests in the post.

New rules will mean that they will have to restrict their movements pending the outcome of three antigen tests.

Antigen tests

The Government is also currently working on an extensive campaign to subsidise antigen tests.

Close contacts of confirmed cases in schools will be sent antigen tests and they will also be subsidised nationwide. Currently, a pack of five rapid tests can cost up to €30 and above, with a single test costing as much as €7.

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland

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