The Cabinet has agreed a range of new Covid-19 restrictions which will see intercounty travel banned after Stephen’s Day.

Restaurants and pubs that serve food will be asked to close on Christmas Eve at 3pm.

Hairdressers, barbers and other personal services will close on the same day.

Three households will be allowed meet in one home until St Stephen’s Day after which it will be reduced to two housesholds until December 31. Household visits will be banned in the New Year.

Religious services will end on Christmas Day and move online. However, places of worship will remain open for private prayer.

All retail and gyms will remain open after Christmas and into the New Year.

The new Covid-19 restrictions which are being introduced over Christmas will be reviewed by Government on January 12.

Flights from Britain will continued to be banned until the end of the year and the measure will then be reviewed by Cabinet.

The Cabinet heard “very sombre” and “worrying” predictions of how the virus will spread with new cases are estimated to be as high as 900 today and maybe even higher in the coming days.