Trinity College immunologist Luke O'Neill has said that family members should hug briefly over the Christmas period while wearing a mask.
Speaking on Today with Claire Byrne Show on RTE Radio One today, Professor O'Neill also said that hugs should take place outdoors, while expressing hope that "restrictions will be lifted to allow three to four households to meet." He added that people should also bring their own dinnerware, have a breeze blowing through the house and "put Grandpa by the window."
Professor O'Neill suggested that only one person should be serving food in the kitchen and seating should be staggered around the dinner table. "It’s going to be tough. We can’t have people together for 10 hours in a room playing games. This will be a different Christmas," he said.
O'Neill's recommendations come as the Government deliberates on how best to exit Level 5, with the latest reports stating that Ireland will be moved in Level 3 with some moderations. It has been suggested that gyms, hairdressers and retail could reopen next week but restaurants may have to wait while so-called "wet pubs" may not open in December at all. A formal announcement is expected to be made on Friday.