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NI Covid restrictions: Nightclubs to reopen from Wednesday, table service to be removed and changes to vaccine passport rules

First MInister confirmed the changes in a since deleted tweet

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Stock Image: The COVIDCert NI app that displays vaccination passports for domestic and travel use on November, 17 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Stock Image: The COVIDCert NI app that displays vaccination passports for domestic and travel use on November, 17 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan showing rule changes

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan showing rule changes

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Stock Image: The COVIDCert NI app that displays vaccination passports for domestic and travel use on November, 17 2021 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Nightclubs in Northern Ireland are to be given the green light to reopen from Wednesday, January 26, while table service and the rule of six are to be removed from hospitality venues, First Minister Paul Givan has confirmed.

In a tweet he has since deleted, Mr Givan said: “The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to lift restrictions on the 21st & 26th January and reduced the areas Covid Passports will be legally required to nightclubs and indoor unseated events with 500+ people. This is welcome progress.”

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Deleted tweet from Paul Givan

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan

In a screenshot Mr Givan posted, it confirmed changes from this Friday include the removal of table service while consuming food and drink, while the rule of six is also to be removed 

Coronavirus Data Graphs

The tweet also confirmed nightclubs can reopen from January 26 at noon, with dancing and indoor standing events being allowed to proceed.

According to the PA news agency, the first measures would change this week and the rest next week.

From Friday, January 21, the requirement for table service in the hospitality sector as well as the so-called “rule of six” for table numbers will be lifted.

Guidance for indoor gatherings in domestic settings to be limited to three households would also stop, but the advice would still be to limit gatherings to 30 people.

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Deleted tweet from Paul Givan showing rule changes

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan showing rule changes

Deleted tweet from Paul Givan showing rule changes

For face coverings, the requirement to show proof of exemption will be lifted and the reasonable excuse of “severe distress” will be brought back.
The First Minister Paul Givan has already said that a rule making people prove they are exempt has been suspended, as well as cutting the self-isolation period from seven to five days from Friday.
Under phase two of the proposals, PA further report that from January 26 nightclubs could reopen and indoor standing events can resume with a prohibition on dancing lifted.

A legal requirement for Covid certification for nightclubs and indoor unseated and partially-seated events with 500 or more attendees would remain in place.

At all other venues where Covid passports are legally required, this would be replaced with guidance to “strongly encourage” their continued use.

A requirement for office based workplaces to have two-metre social distancing would be removed, but guidance would remain that risk assessments should still be carried out.
 


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