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.
“It takes our response to the Covid to a new level. With less risk from the Omicron variant, we can move from the emergency and legal framework to a new perspective where making safe choices in our daily lives.” Is included in
“It means we all do our best to reduce the risk of infection and transmission. It means taking care of each other, following the guidelines for public health.”
“It is important to keep in mind that taking unnecessary risks with Covid can affect people who are particularly vulnerable to the virus.
“So please don’t jump the gun and start behaving as if the epidemic is over. It is not.”
Mr Swann said that although the Omakron variant was less severe than in previous strains, “the community transmission is much higher and the hospital pressure is significant”.
He added: “The most vulnerable people suffer from severe illness as a result of the underlying disease and it is important that we all do our best to protect them.”
The health minister said he would review the current situation.
He said: “The corona virus is likely to stay with us for some time in some form or another. We cannot maintain emergency sanctions indefinitely. The section is already covered by the guidelines rather than the rules.
“This includes isolating yourself when you have an infection and taking a lateral flu test before meeting others. The guidance will continue to emphasize all the steps we must take to protect each other.”
“Of course, I will maintain the status quo under the ongoing and detailed review. We cannot rule out a new change emerging below the line with the need for new interventions. I am very hopeful that this will not happen.”
Mr Swann said he had been advised by health officials that the decision to ease sanctions would not significantly increase the number of people in intensive care.
In a letter to executive ministers on Monday, seen by the PA News Agency, Mr Swann warned that he would not be able to unilaterally re-impose sanctions if the situation in Kvid 19 deteriorated further.
“Although it has been possible for me to relax these last legal restrictions without referring to the executive, I am well aware that I will not be in that position – nor would I want to be – if I were to be re-introduced. Asked to introduce, for example, sanctions as a result of a new type, or new restrictions, “he said.
“As Ministerial colleagues, I am aware that I would like to ensure that the Department of Public Health retains temporary powers to act in response to an urgent need under public health legislation. But I know that despite these powers, “It’s difficult to estimate the circumstances under which the executive could be used if he is not reinstated.”
Fellow ministers welcomed the decision.
Nicola Malone, Minister of Infrastructure in the Executive of Northern Ireland, called it a “significant milestone”.
“This decision should never have been jeopardized by the DUP, which has given priority to the political stunt over the needs of the people we all represent,” he said.
Meanwhile, the health department said two more people in Northern Ireland who had previously tested positive for covid 19 had died.
A further 2,465 confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in the last 24 hours.
On Monday, there were 437 patients admitted to Cowade 19, 13 of whom were in intensive care.