Northern Ireland news

No changes to Covid-19 restrictions, Executive agrees

First Minister Paul Givan said the Executive is looking towards October 14 as a "significant date" when some Covid-19 regulations could be eased. Picture by Mal McCann

Stormont ministers have agreed that there will be no change to Covid-19 rules in Northern Ireland.

Ministers held their first face-to-face meeting in almost a year today, where they received advice from health officials that current regulations and guidance should not be eased.

Executive ministers are set to hold a special meeting at the start of next week, which will focus on social distancing rules and will include discussion on vaccine certification.

First Minister Paul Givan said the Executive is looking towards October 14 as a "significant date" when some Covid-19 regulations could be eased.

Speaking following a marathon meeting with ministers, Mr Givan said this would be subject to final decisions made the week before.

He said: "We have obviously made huge progress as an Executive over the past number of months. We have had over 38 relaxations and we are able to do a lot of things we weren't able to do previously, and we now are left with a remaining nine areas that need to be considered.

"I am pleased that today, on a number of those, we were able to make progress and we're looking towards October 14 as a significant date, subject to a final decision being made on October 7.

"In respect of social distancing, that is something which for certain sectors there is a critical decision with the ending of the furlough scheme, and that has been well documented, but we are going to meet as an Executive on Monday to talk about the social distancing aspects and the particular sectors that that is very much relevant to."

 

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