NI Venues Advised To Introduce COVID-19 Entry Checks
The Stormont Executive has advised venues in Northern Ireland to introduce their own COVID-19 entry checks, but has stopped short of implementing a mandatory system similar to the one operating in the...
The Stormont Executive has advised venues in Northern Ireland to introduce their own COVID-19 entry checks, but has stopped short of implementing a mandatory system similar to the one operating in the Republic of Ireland.
As reported by rte.ie, since noon yesterday (Sunday October 31), nightclubs in Northern Ireland have been able to open for the first time in 19 months, customers have neen able to move around hospitality venues, indoor dancing has been permitted and the need for social distancing in hospitality settings has moved to guidance.
While so-called vaccine passports have not been made mandatory, Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill reportedly said that, as part of measures to ensure safer environments, people should expect to be asked for "proof of their COVID status".
The issue of COVID-19 entry check requirements has reportedly divided the administration, with the SDLP and Alliance Party reportedly calling for legally enforceable COVID-19 passports for nightlife venues, and some nightclub owners have reportedly also expressed concerns about having to police COVID-19 entry checks in the absence of a mandatory passport system.
First Minister Statements
Givan reportedly said that the responsibility "lies with each of us to protect ourselves, our families and the whole community", and, "We have come a long way in our fight against COVID-19.
"Together, we have reached a point where almost all restrictions have been lifted, or replaced with advice.
"It is this guidance which is critical in our efforts to protect people's health, while working to bring about economic recovery and community well-being.
"We want to keep moving forward and every individual, business and sector has a part to play in in achieving that.
"We ask everyone to keep following the public health advice.
"The responsibility lies with each of us to protect ourselves, our families and the whole community."
Deputy First Minister Statements
O'Neill reportedly said, "This latest set of relaxations must go hand in hand with the necessary mitigations and personal behaviours that will help to manage risks as people socialise together.
"We have contingency plans in place that will allow us to deploy additional measures if the situation requires.
"However, to help avoid future restrictions it is absolutely vital that we all make the public health advice part of our everyday lives.
"We urge everyone to take up the vaccine, and for everyone to keep taking steps to protect yourself and others, even after you're vaccinated."
People Urged To Take Steps To Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19
The ministers reportedly also urged people to take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including getting vaccinated, wearing a face covering in crowded or indoor settings, washing hands regularly, self-isolate and get a PCR test if you have symptoms, meet outside, and work from home where practicable.
Alliance Party And SDLP Concerns
As reportedly by The Belfast Telegraph, both the Alliance Party and SDLP have expressed concerns that the relaxations in restrictions could lead to a growth in transmission of COVID-19 ahead of Christmas.
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