Northern Ireland to Impose COVID Restrictions After Christmas

Northern Ireland will impose restrictions the day after Christmas to curb spread of the Omicron coronavirus strain, which now accounts for over 40% of COVID-19 infections in the country, Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill said.

"The executive has taken [a] decision to protect people and protect the health service over the coming days and weeks," O'Neill said in a video posted on her Twitter account on Wednesday.

The deputy minister told reporters that nightclubs would be closed and indoor dancing would not be allowed from 6 a.m. on 26 December. Moreover, all indoor standing events will be prohibited.

In addition, starting 27 December, only residents of a maximum of three households will be allowed to gather together. Guests will also be required to be seated with a maximum of six people, or 10 people from a single household at a table.

Citizens are also recommended to work from home and to maintain a social distance of two metres.

The deputy minister said the decision would help keep infection rates down and relieve the pressure put on healthcare workers and emergency services.

The deputy minister told reporters that nightclubs would be closed and indoor dancing would not be allowed from 6 a.m. on 26 December. Moreover, all indoor standing events will be prohibited.

In addition, starting 27 December, only residents of a maximum of three households will be allowed to gather together. Guests will also be required to be seated with a maximum of six people, or 10 people from a single household at a table.

Citizens are also recommended to work from home and to maintain a social distance of two metres.The deputy minister said the decision would help keep infection rates down and relieve the pressure put on healthcare workers and emergency services.

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