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Cabinet to introduce new restrictions for travel and retail as schools close

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The Government is set to close schools and construction sites, while introducing new restrictions on travel and retail, in a bid to stem the spread of Covid-19.

The Irish Times reports the Cabinet is set to agree the closure of schools and the construction sector until the end of January.

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New requirements for travellers to provide proof of negative Covid-19 tests will be introduced, while there will be a ban on click and collect services for non-essential retailers.

It follows a meeting of the Cabinet sub-committee on Covid-19, which was attended by the three Coalition leaders and several others Government ministers.

The meeting’s agreements are expected to be finalised at Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting.

Travel and retail

Sources have confirmed that under the agreements, construction is expected to halt with exceptions for essential projects such as social housing and urgent roof repairs.

Though schools are also expected to close, special schools and special classes are expected to stay open. The Cabinet is also expected to agree that crèches can remain open to provide childcare for essential workers.

New restrictions are expected to be introduced in relation to travel, with all travellers into the State needing to provide a negative PCR test for Covid-19 from the previous 72 hours. It is expected the current travel ban from mainland Britain will be lifted on Saturday.

Ireland

Taoiseach confirms closure of schools, childcare a…

It is expected that click and collect services will no longer permitted for non-essential retailers closed under Level 5 restrictions. Deliveries will still be permitted.

It comes as anxious parents have welcomed the expected decision to close schools amid a third surge of Covid-19, but have called for stronger support than was available during the first lockdown.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Taoiseach confirmed that the closure of schools, childcare and the construction sector were under Government discussion amid soaring rates of infection.

A further 17 deaths and 5,325 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the Republic on Tuesday.

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