New Covid-19 measures take effect in Northern Ireland

Under the new measures, people are also being asked to limit their social contacts, with the public being advised that only three households should mix together in a private home.
New Covid-19 measures take effect in Northern Ireland

By Dominic McGrath, PA

New measures to tackle Covid-19 have come into effect in Northern Ireland.

The new rules, agreed by the Executive parties last week, are designed to suppress rising case numbers amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

A maximum of six people can be seated together in a bar or restaurant, with table service only permitted.

Customers will only be allowed to move between toilets or to the till.

Under the new measures, people are also being asked to limit their social contacts, with the public being advised that only three households should mix together in a private home.

Employers and employees are also being asked to work from home where possible, with two-metre social distancing a requirement in any office setting.

Nightclubs in Northern Ireland had already been ordered to close from St Stephens Day, with indoor standing events no longer permitted.

Last week Stormont ministers agreed a £40 million (€47 million) grant scheme to support hospitality businesses affected by the latest Covid-19 restrictions.

Grants of between £10,000 and £20,000 will be available to more than 3,200 eligible businesses.

Eligible businesses include nightclubs, restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, bistros, snack bars, pubs/bars, social clubs or private members’ clubs.

Sporting clubhouses are not eligible.

There has been no changes to the numbers of people allowed to attend sporting events.

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