"It is tough and it is mentally exhausting."

The Taoiseach spoke for many this evening when he said that people are "totally fed up with Covid-19".

Micheál Martin added: "I understand that feeling. Very often I share it."

Talking about mental health was a good start.

He then said he had "encouraging news" - restrictions are to be eased from next week after a "massive national effort" during Level 5.

The full details are listed but a few measures stand-out.

One of the biggest decisions taken by Cabinet was that households can mix with up to two other households between 18 December and 6 January.

There had been some suggestions it would be three households, if not more.

It could be that fewer home visits is an attempt to offset a wider opening of the hospitality sector, such as restaurants opening on Friday 4 December.

Another stand-out measure is the update on mask wearing. The Taoiseach said people should "wear their masks outdoors on busy streets, within crowded indoor workplaces and in places of worship".

It seems this is a bid to reduce transmissions risks as a greater number of people congregate in the run-up to Christmas.

"Today's announcement is a risk. And the Government knows it"

One key message from the Taoiseach was personal responsibility, saying the "power" to prevent a return to Level 5 "rests with each and every citizen in our country".

That is one which will be watched closely. There is Covid fatigue.

It was immediately visible on social media, with some posting these were only "recommendations" from the Government and gardaí were not going to be checking people's homes on Christmas Day to see how many households were present.

On the other hand, Prof Sam McConkey told RTÉ's Six One News that he felt the easing of restrictions was going too far.

He said bluntly: "I'm worried that we will end up in a third wave."

Today's announcement is a risk. And the Government knows it.

The Taoiseach said this Christmas would "not be the kind of Christmas we are used to".

However, he said confidently that "it will be a very special time when we will all be able to enjoy some respite from the hardships of 2020".

Here's hoping.

Click here for details of helplines offering support over the Christmas period.