Northern Ireland’s remaining Covid-19 restrictions to be lifted

Health Minister Robin Swann warned residents should not start ‘behaving as if the pandemic is over’.

15 February 2022

All remaining Covid-19 legal restrictions in Northern Ireland are to be lifted and replaced by guidance.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann confirmed on Monday that all legal restrictions in the region would be replaced by guidance from February 15.

He will make an order revoking the remaining rules on Tuesday.

Under current Covid-19 regulations, people are still required to wear face coverings in public places and Covid certificates are needed for nightclubs.

Mr Swann, who tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday, was advised last week on the potential legal complications of him replacing Covid regulations with guidance, without the wider endorsement of an executive.

He wrote to other ministers asking for their input.

The present Covid-19 regulations in Northern Ireland were not due to expire until March 24, but had been reviewed by the executive every three weeks.

However, Northern Ireland has no functioning executive after the DUP removed Paul Givan as first minister, as part of a protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The move to ease restrictions has been welcomed by businesses and other political parties in Northern Ireland.

Mr Swann urged the public to remain cautious and vigilant in the coming weeks.

“It must always be remembered that taking unnecessary risks with Covid may affect people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

“So please do not jump the gun and start behaving as if the pandemic is over. That is not the case,” he said.

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