The Chief Medical Officer has said there's no substantial difference between closing pubs and restaurants at 8pm instead of 5pm.
Government confirmed the new closing hours from Monday until the 30th of January.
Indoor and outdoor events will also be limited to 50 per cent capacity to a maximum of 1,000 inside or 5,000 people outside respectively.
NPHET had advised the closure of hospitality, cinemas and theatres at 5pm.
Government instead chose 8pm as the closing time, with CMO Dr Tony Holohan saying he thinks that will help the situation:
"The reality is that if we reduce that level in that way, we reduce the total volume of contact that takes place across the population associated with what is deemed high-risk activity in terms of transmission of this virus."
The announcement is a killer blow to the entertainment sector, according to the Musicians and Entertainers Association of Ireland.
It says banks are now repossessing homes owned my musicians due to a massive drop in income since March of last year.
Spokesperson Matt McGranahan says new measures are needed to stop entertainers from losing their homes:
"This is through no fault of their own. This is through government and Covid-19 restrictions that has prevented them from carrying out their work."
📢📢📢 Further acceleration of the booster vaccination programme for those aged 40-49 - boosters will be available from THIS SUNDAY - GPs, Pharmacies and some walk-in clinics at vaccination centres - details on VCs will be available on @HSELive and website pic.twitter.com/UEGwDjJPYT
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) December 17, 2021
Meanwhile, almost a quarter of a million boosters of the Covid-19 vaccine were administered between Monday and Friday this week.
Yesterday alone, 55 thousand people received their top up dose.
The booster rollout is continuing to be ramped up - with the announcement that the vaccines will be made available for the 40-49 age group from tomorrow.
That's 8 days ahead of the original schedule.