The Taoiseach has confirmed a range of new restrictions for indoor venues amid fresh concerns over COVID-19.
Nightclubs will have to close entirely from December 7th until January 9th, while strict social distancing will be required in bars and restaurants.
Multiple table bookings will no longer be allowed, while tables will be restricted to six people.
Table service only will be allowed, meaning customers will no longer be able to queue at bars.
There'll be a maximum of 50% capacity at entertainment, cultural, community and sporting events indoors, with face masks required at all times (unless eating or drinking).
All indoor events must also be fully seated.
COVID passes will be required for gyms and leisure centres, as well as hotel bars and restaurants.
The midnight curfew for hospitality venues will remain unchanged.
Closing time stays at midnight for hospitality
Indoor sporting and other events going to 50% capacity
Digital Covid Certs required for gyms
— Seán Defoe (@SeanDefoe) December 3, 2021
People are being asked to keep indoor meet-ups in their homes over the Christmas period to a maximum of four households (including the host household).
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said Government had “received some very stark advice” from NPHET - requiring the reintroduction of several restrictions.
He said case numbers and hospitalisations had stabilised - but the Omicron variant of the virus is a fresh cause of concern, particularly due to the recent and rapid surge of cases in South Africa.
He also noted that cases had stabilised here at a very high number.
As a result, health officials are recommending new restrictions to avoid a fresh surge over Christmas.
However, the Taoiseach stressed this is not a return to the days of lockdown.
Mr Martin said the hospitality sector will get the full financial support of the Government "to weather this latest storm and to stay intact until we are out of it".
It's been confirmed the PUP will reopen to anyone who loses their job as a result of this evening's announcement.
Mr Martin also said NPHET acknowledges the need for 'flexibility' around the household visits recommendation.
In his address, the Taoiseach said: "Throughout this COVID journey there have been many twists and turns. This latest twist is disappointing, but we are nowhere near back where we were.
"Large sections of our society and economy are open and thriving.
"We will get through this latest twist by drawing on the same spirit of resilience that has got us to this point."
The announcement comes after 5,419 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Ireland today.