An infectious disease expert says he is concerned the reopening of restaurants could lead to an increase in 'superspreader events' over Christmas.
From Tuesday, the country will move back to level 3 restrictions with the reopening of retail and places of worship.
Indoor dining in restaurants will resume from Friday while travel between counties and the mixing of up to three households can happen after December 18.
Professor Sam McConkey from the Royal College of Surgeons, says allowing restaurants to reopen is a risk.
"I personally would have restricted it more because we know there are superspreader events in these crowded, social events when people are talking loudly and singing," said Prof McConkey.