NI leaders urge caution when final relaxations of Covid-19 rules take effect


Northern Ireland leaders have urged caution as the latest relaxations of coronavirus regulations come into force.

Starting Thursday, up to 30 people will be allowed in private homes and the requirement for members of the public to be seated when watching performances in covered venues will be removed.

However, big parties and raves will not be allowed yet.

Other relaxations will apply from October 31, including restrictions on indoor dancing and the reopening of nightclubs.

This is an important point that needs to be reached and it has taken a determined and combined effort throughout society to get us here.

Prime Minister Paul Givan and Deputy Prime Minister Michelle O’Neill urged people to continue to follow public health guidelines.

“Over the next fortnight, many of the last restrictions on how we socialize and participate together will be lifted,” Givan said.

“This is an important point that needs to be reached and it has taken a determined and combined effort across society to get us here. I am proud of the powerful and positive community spirit and the shared determination to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“While it is right that we take the heart out of the relaxations that are now allowed, we must also continue to make our degree granite to protect and drive progress. It is personal responsibility and whether you are a customer, worker, student or business owner, follow the remaining rules when you are out. “

O’Neill added: “With public support, we have come a long way in our journey beyond restrictions and we can all be encouraged by the cautious progress we have been able to make.

“However, we must remember that coronavirus still poses a threat to lives, livelihoods and our health service, which faces a very challenging period of autumn and winter.

“We have a collective responsibility to continue to take the kind of options that will keep our community as safe as possible.

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