Ireland is reimposing strict Covid-19 restrictions, including closing nightclubs and limiting private gatherings.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin said Ireland would reintroduce some Covid-19 restrictions, following “very harsh” advice from Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan.
“My message tonight is difficult,” he told the country in a nationwide address.
“I understand and share the disappointment and frustration this will cause many of you.”
From December 7 to January 9, a series of new restrictions will come into effect.
These include closing nightclubs, as well as strict social distancing rules in restaurants and bars.
Indoor capacity will also be reduced to 50% for all cultural, entertainment and sporting events, with the Covid pass extended to gyms and hotels.
Other measures include limiting private gatherings to three other households.
The first case in Wales of the Omicron coronavirus variant was also confirmed today.
The case is in the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board area and is linked to international travel, the Welsh government has said.
It comes as Omicron cases in Scotland have jumped from 16 to 29, with a Steps gig among the sources.
Premier Nicola Sturgeon warned they could increase “significantly” in the coming days as the variant is now circulating in the community.
Meanwhile, the accelerated rollout of Covid booster jabs will be in place by December 13, NHS England said.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) said all adults should become eligible for boosters and the time between a second dose and a booster should be reduced from six months to three months, to a designed extent. to help protect against the new Omicron variant of Covid.
But the jab reservation service has yet to be updated.
In a letter from the health department published on Friday, it was revealed that this would be updated to reflect the reduction in the time between doses to three months “as soon as possible and no later than December 13”.
He said the jabs would be administered “in decreasing age groups, with priority given to vaccinating the elderly and those in a risk group for Covid-19 first.”
For all the latest updates on the pandemic, follow our live blog below …