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*Photograph: John Mangan

Level Five restrictions are to be eased from Tuesday while less than five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Co Clare in the latest figures from the Department of Health.

On Friday evening, the Department of Health confirmed 206 new cases across the country, less than five of which are in Co Clare. 64 are in Dublin, 23 in Limerick, 20 in Donegal, 18 in Cork, 14 in Louth, 14 in Meath, and the remaining 53 cases in 18 counties. The total amount of new cases is the lowest since September.

Co Clare has now gone five days in a row reporting less than five new cases in the daily updates from the Department.

An additional seven deaths have been notified to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Since the emergence of the virus, 2043 persons have died in the Republic of Ireland.

Following a five hour meeting on Friday, the Cabinet approved a plan that will result in the opening of all retail outlets, hairdressers, museums, libraries and gyms from Tuesday (December 1st) and the lifting of a 5km travel limit. Attendance at religious services will also be permitted from Tuesday along with the return of golf and tennis as part of the return to Level 3.

Restaurants and dining rooms in hotels will open on Friday (December 4th) along with pubs that have a kitchen and serve food. Takeaway drinks only will be allowed at ‘wet pubs’.

Nationwide travel has been sanctioned from December 18th until January 6th. Three households can gather together from December 18th.

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