Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said that parts of Ireland could be placed into Level 2 of Covid-19 restrictions once Level 5 is lifted, as expected, on December 1.
Speaking on RTE News at One, Stephen Donnelly said that "The plan is, in the first week of December, to open back up. It could be a Level 3, there's a possibility that it might be Level 2 or indeed maybe a regional approach could be taken." Donnelly added: "For example, at the moment the rate is falling well in some parts of the country but in Dublin it's not falling as quickly."
Speaking about the prospect of retail outlets being open for Christmas, Donnelly said: "If you look at Level 2 and you look at Level 3 retail is open in both of those so it's very much our intention and it's part of the plan to be able to say to retail, 'look Christmas is the most important part of the year.' So we get to the first week of December and we open up retail, that is definitely the intention."
Retail, other than essential outlets, is currently closed under Level 5 restrictions which are expected to be lifted on December 1. Under Level 2, wet pubs could be allowed to open with 'robust protective measures in place (for example: physical distancing, table service only, cleaning regimes, noise controls and so on)'.
More information on Level 2 can be found here.