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COVID-19 Christmas and New Year restrictions in Ireland

It's important to follow the guidelines this Christmas to keep yourself and your loved ones safe


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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Over Christmas, guidelines will be in place to keep everyone safe and avoid increasing the spread of COVID-19. Due to the current rate of COVID-19 infections in Ireland, the country is at Level 5.

It is important to remember that COVID-19 is very much still present and a risk to your health and the health of those around you. The basics of properly washing hands and keeping socially distant can help to protect you and those you love during this time. Following government guidelines over Christmas also means that you can continue to help slow the spread of the virus, while enjoying the holiday period.

Find out about all the restrictions in place right now.

What are the COVID-19 Christmas guidelines in Ireland?

Find out about the restrictions in place over the Christmas period. These guidelines may be subject to change, depending on the level of cases in the country. 

Visitors at home during New Year's

The country is now at Level 5, which means that no visitors are allowed in private homes or gardens, and no social or family gatherings should take place in other settings either.  

The exception to this is those visiting for essential family reasons such as providing care to children or older people, or as part of a support bubble. 

Can I travel to another county?

From the 27th December, travel between counties is not allowed, except to return home the county where you live after visiting family over Christmas.

If you traveled to another county for Christmas, you will not have to return back to your place of residence immediately. However, once you do return to your county, you cannot leave the county again. 

For anyone planning to return to Ireland from Britain this Christmas, all flights from Britain have been banned until at least 31st December 2020.

Are the shops open over Christmas?

All shops can remain open until 31st December 2020.

From 1st January 2020, only essential shops can remain open. It is mandatory to wear a face mask while in shops. 

Are pubs and restaurants open over Christmas?

Restaurants and pubs serving food will can remain open for take away only - no indoor dining is allowed.

Are hairdressers and barbers open over Christmas?

Hairdressers, barbers, and other personal grooming services will close on Christmas Eve and remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Religious services at Christmas and New Year's during COVID-19

All religious services must now be held online.

Funerals and weddings 

  • Up to 25 people can attend weddings during this period. From January 3rd, the number of people who can attend a wedding will reduce to 6.
  • Up to 10 mourners can attend a funeral

What other restrictions are in place over Christmas?

The country is in Level 5. Find out what other restrictions are in place at this time

Need to talk to someone over the holidays? 

Christmas can be an enjoyable time, but it can also come with stress, grief and loneliness. If you are having a difficult time during the Christmas and New Year period our 24/7 support text line is here to listen.

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Published Decem­ber 18th2020
Last updated Feb­ru­ary 24th2021
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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