LATEST: Kilkenny among 206 new cases of virus: hotels, hairdressers, shops, gyms and churches to reopen next Tuesday, restuarants and gastropubs on Friday
A further seven people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 206 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
The overall death toll as a result of the virus now stands at 2,043. There are now 71,699 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The breakdown of the latest cases is as follows: 64 are in Dublin, 23 in Limerick, 20 in Donegal, 18 in Cork, 14 in Louth, 14 in Meath, with the remaining 53 cases in 18 counties, including five more infections in Kilkenny.
The latest cases were confirmed as the Cabinet today approved the reopening of hotels, retail, hairdressers, churches, gyms and museums from next Tuesday. Restaurants and gastropubs will reopen their doors next Friday.
However travel restrictions remain in place. The Government is asking people to stay in their county until December 18, except for essential travel. The period for relaxed travel restrictions will run until January 6.
Up to three households will be permitted to mix during this time. A Government source was quoted as saying the limit will apply to the number of households mixing, rather than the number of people, in recognition of the fact that families come in different shapes and sizes.
It is understood wet pubs will not reopen in December.
For restuarants and gastropubs, the Government is considering plans to relax time limits on dining, with no limit when there is two metres between tables, although a 1 hour 45 minute limit will apply when tables are less than two metres apart. Six people will be allowed per table under rules discussed at cabinet this afternoon.
Reports this evening said it is understood hotels are likely to be able to open their restaurants for non-residents, albeit subject to strict social distancing requirements.
It is expected that golf, tennis, shooting, horseriding and other outdoor sports will also be permitted from next week.
PHOTO: Stock image