Cafes, restaurants and gastro-pubs will close at 3 o’clock this afternoon and will be able to offer takeaway and deliveries only.

Hair and beauty salons, as well as cinemas, galleries and museums, will also close today.

Hotels may provide food and bar services to guests only after 3pm today.

They’re to close for all ‘non-essential’ bookings after St Stephen’s Day.

Retail outlets – including those considered non-essential, such as clothing, sportswear and book shops – will be allowed to remain open.

However, they’re being encouraged to hold their annual January sales events online with click-and-collect options, rather than through in store promotions.

Last night, in a letter to the Department of Health, NPHET called for non-essential retail to close after St Stephen’s Day.

Meanwhile, Revenue is reminding businesses that they may qualify for the additional seasonal Covid Restriction Support Scheme (CRSS) payments.

Firms affected by the government’s decision to move to Level 5 are eligible for additional payments for the weeks beginning December 21st, December 28th and January 4th.

The additional payment was already due to businesses that were already precluded from reopening, such as pubs that don’t serve food, nightclubs, discos and casinos.

Businesses that are closing fully today will now be eligible to apply.

The payment provides up to double the amount of the weekly CRSS support payment due, subject to the statutory maximum payment of €5,000 per week.

A qualifying business can make a claim now via the eRepayments service in ROS.

Revenue has also reminded businesses that recommenced trading following the lifting of restrictions on December 4th that they can still claim an additional CRSS “restart week” of support, if they have not already done so.