Cabinet has approved new Covid-19 restrictions to take effect from Christmas Eve.
While Christmas isn’t being cancelled, activity will be severely limited once again.
From 3pm on Christmas Eve restaurants and pubs that serve food will have to close.
Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, cinemas and galleries will also have to shut on the 24th.
From midnight on the 26th intercounty travel will be restricted, but with exemptions for getting home after the Christmas break.
Hotels are also expected to be closed after St Stephen’s Day for non-essential stays.
From the 27th of December people will only be allowed to have visitors from one other household in their home.
Christmas Day mass is likely to be the last one of the year as worship will move online.
The travel ban from the UK has also been extended until the end of the year.
Cabinet was warned the number of new cases today will be over 900 – the highest number since Halloween.
The new measures will be reviewed on January 12th.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin is expected to formally make the announcement in the next hour.