The Government is to announce new restrictions on hospitality and travel this afternoon.
It comes amid a concerning rise in the number of new cases of Covid-19 and the new strain of the virus in the UK.
From early afternoon on Christmas eve much of the hospitality sector will close including pubs and restaurants.
Hairdressers, barbers, beauticians, cinemas and galleries will close as well - but gyms and non-essential retail will be allowed to stay open with tighter restrictions on how many people are allowed in-store.
From midnight on St Stephen's Day inter-county travel will be banned, although people will be able to return home from wherever they are after that date.
The ban on travel from the UK will be extended until at least December 31st.
Household visits will also be phased down over the next two weeks.