Covid-19: Easing of hospitality rules could be reversed, says Swann

Covid-19: Easing of hospitality rules could be reversed, says Swann

10/23/2021 10:22:00 PM

Covid-19: Easing of hospitality rules could be reversed, says Swann

Robin Swann says he 'will not be deterred' from recommending more restrictions if cases rise.

Getty ImagesThe health minister has warned that a relaxation of restrictions in hospitality settings could be reversed if they cause a surge in Covid cases.Robin Swann said he hoped such a move would not be needed and urged people to get vaccinated.The executive has agreed

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masks will not be mandatory for dancing in nightclubs when they reopen next Sunday.The British Medical Association (BMA) has opposed further easing of restrictions.Justice Minister Naomi Long has also raised concerns saying she feared relaxing rules on face coverings in nightclubs may cause a "significant" rise in the transmission of Covid-19.

Mrs Long also said she was concerned about a "lack of clarity" in health advice.Face masks not required for dancers in nightclubsSpeaking at a Covid-19 vaccine booster and flu jab clinic at the Kingspan Stadium on Saturday, Mr Swann said the executive's decision on further easing was "proportionate" and there was guidance in place for venues.

He added: "I've always been clear I will not be deterred from recommending adding restrictions if necessary."I hope its not necessary and that's why I would encourage people to come forward get their Covid vaccine, their booster and their flu vaccine as well."

Image caption,Health Minister Robin Swann said he hoped the easing of hospitality rules would not be neededMr Swann alsoHe said some health trusts will run clinics next week, during the school holidays, allowing parents to take their children along.The major roll out in schools will then start after the holidays.

On Saturday,the Department of Health reported 10 deaths with Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.The total number of deaths linked to Covid-19 in Northern Ireland since the start of the pandemic is 2,656.Another 1,323 cases of coronavirus were reported in Northern Ireland on Saturday, down from 1,355 on Friday.

'A colossal joint effort'Mr Swann said there will be a "significant escalation of the booster programme" over the coming weeks.He said the jabs will help to support the health service "through an extremely difficult winter period".

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"The significant benefits of vaccination are clear - it protects you and those close to you," he said."Even though we have now introduced the booster dose for those vaccinated at the start of the programme, it isn't too late for those who remain unvaccinated to get their jabs.

"When the history of the Covid pandemic is told, all those who worked to protect us through vaccination will rightly be described as heroes."The Covid vaccination programme has already involved a colossal joint effort right across the health and social care system."

Read more: BBC Health News »

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