Northern Ireland removes CoVID-19 rules

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The Minister of Health has stated that the remaining legal restrictions on CoVID-19 in Northern Ireland will be removed by February 15 and replaced by a guideline.

However, Robin Swann urged the public not to “jump the gun” and warned that the epidemic was not over.

The move follows advice from Sir Michael McBride, Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer.

Because things stand still in Northern Ireland, people still need to cover their faces in public places and nightclubs need Quid certificates.

Earlier, Stormont’s ministers offered their “unanimous support” to Mr Swann for easing curb restrictions in Northern Ireland, according to Michelle O’Neill, leader of the Sunfan in Stormont.

Mr Swann, who has had a positive experience with the code himself, was advised last week to replace the code regulations with guidelines on possible legal complications, without broader executive approval.

He wrote a letter to the other ministers seeking their views and asked them to respond by Monday.

The current CoVID-19 regulations in Northern Ireland were not due to expire on 24 March, but before that they were reviewed by the executive every three weeks.

But there has been no executive in Northern Ireland since the DUP removed Paul Giwan from the post of first minister as part of a protest against the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Mr Swan, who has been working from home, was considering whether lifting the sanctions would reduce the responsibilities of another minister.

In a statement on Monday, he said: “Today’s announcement follows legal advice from the attorney general and consultations with all ministerial colleagues.