NPHET has recommended closing restaurants and pubs that serve food from the 28th of December.
The county travel ban and tighter restrictions on household visits are also expected to be reintroduced shortly after Christmas.
Those restrictions have been lifted today – but NPHET has warned the government it can’t wait until the scheduled date of January 6th to bring them back.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin says the cabinet will make a final decision next Tuesday.
The Irish Hotels Federation says there will be significant job losses if the government decides to re-impose the restrictions, with only 25 per cent of hotel rooms occupied this month so far.
The sector was hoping for a much-needed boost over the ‘Christmas window’.
Kilkenny Chambers President, and Manager of the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel, Colin Ahern, says it would be devastating locally.
NPHET is alarmed by the current numbers with Kilkenny and Carlow still in the top five counties for their infection rates.
Two local areas are also topping the list with close to four times the nation’s figure: Bagenalstown and Castlecomer are respectively the third and fourth in the country’s Local Electoral Areas at 326 and 305 per 100,000 population according to the latest available figures.
On Thursday, Carlow saw six new cases confirmed with up to four more in Kilkenny.
23 patients with the virus were being treated at St Luke’s Hospital last night which is down from the 30s earlier this week and last.
The overcrowding numbers are back in double figures though with 11 admitted patients left waiting on trolleys in the local Emergency Department on Friday morning while they wait for a bed.