Discussions continue over the weekend on what the Kovid-19 restrictions will look like in December, ahead of next week’s government announcement.
On December 1, Taoist Michael Martin said the country should break free from Level 5 restrictions.
No decision has been made about replacing it, but the country is expected to move to level 3 from Tuesday week (December 1), with specific recommendations for Christmas week included.
Talks will intensify from Monday when the three alliance party leaders meet.
The cabinet meeting will be held on Tuesday and the second cabinet meeting on the week before the announcement on Thursday or Friday.
The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPET) will meet before making any decision.
That meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday, but it is understood that the time for this has not fallen on deaf ears and that it can be brought forward.
Liaison with public health officials is ongoing and continues throughout the weekend.
The government is also expected to provide guidance next week to people heading home from abroad for Christmas.
It will be based on the EU Traffic Light System, which rates countries by risk.
Government sources said it was too early to say what decisions would be taken next week and that public health, social and economic factors needed to be weighed.
But the question of what restrictions should be imposed on bars and restaurants during and around Christmas is an important part of those discussions.
There are strong suggestions that participation in mass and other religious gatherings will be allowed during this period.
It is widely accepted that Christmas allows people to travel across borders to see their loved ones.