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Northern Ireland won’t change restrictions over Christmas

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Paul Givan has confirmed that Covid-19 restrictions won’t be changed over Christmas.

However, he did warn that renewed restrictions on hospitality in the Republic of Ireland might lead to more people travelling across the border and that the Irish Government needs to “properly engage and communicate” those changes with the Northern Irish Executive.

Stormont ministers agreed last week that no new rules were necessary but emphasised the importance of following existing measures.

“The travel of direction in England and in Scotland is moving at a different pace in Northern Ireland, so our health advice that we have is that the current measures in place are sufficient to get us through that Christmas period,” said Paul Givan.

“Our plans will continue to operate on that basis, with the public working with us to have those levels of adherence that we need to see.

“But there are no plans to change what we are doing in the run-up to Christmas and through that period.”

However, Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer, Sir Michael McBride, said that some restrictions may need to be reintroduced in January.

To Party or not to party

When asked whether people should attend Christmas parties or not, the First Minister struck a slightly cautious note, saying that people “should continue to make their plans now and in the run-up to Christmas, but to do it safely and to follow the public health advice around that.”

(Main image of First Minister Paul Givan, from Belfast Telegraph)


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