Advice against travel to the North likely under reopening plan

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The government is strongly considering telling people not to travel to Northern Ireland from next week, due to the region’s Covid-19 crisis.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told his party colleagues last night the measure may be introduced, but no final decision has been made.

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The cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19 will meet this evening to finalise plans to exit Level 5 next week, ahead of an announcement tomorrow.

It is believed shops, gyms and hairdressers will be the first to reopen, with restaurants and hotels expected to follow.

Elaina Fitzgerald-Kane, the president of the Irish Hotels Federation, says it will be ‘catastrophic’ if hotels are not allowed to fully reopen next week.

“What is critical is that we have a minimum of five weeks of a trading period, so we really feel that we need to open from December 2nd and indoor dining needs to be permitted.

“It’s worrying that there is speculation that it may happen later than that, or it may happen in stages because that’s just not sustainable from our perspective.”

Yesterday, 269 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic, along with six more deaths.

The 14-day incidence rate for the disease has now dropped to 105 per 100,000 people, down from 119 recorded on Wednesday of last week.

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