Changes to self isolation rules agreed for Northern Ireland

Changes to self-isolation rules agreed for Northern Ireland

Rules come into effect from Monday

Rules on self-isolation in Northern Ireland are to be relaxed, Stormont ministers have agreed.

People who are close contacts of positive cases will no longer have to isolate for 10 days, as long as they test negative, have no symptoms and have had both jabs of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The move, which was agreed at a virtual meeting of the powersharing Executive and comes into effect on Monday, brings Northern Ireland into line with rule changes already agreed for the rest of the UK.

At Thursday’s meeting, ministers also agreed to end class bubbling arrangements in schools.

However, ministers decided to retain the use of face coverings in post-primary school classrooms for the first six weeks of the new term.

The relaxation to the self-isolation rules also apply to close contacts in school settings.

Ministers also agreed a series of other rule changes at the meeting.

Steps, which apply from Monday, include the removal of the cap on the number of people who can gather together outside in domestic gardens; the end of household bubbling arrangements; scrapping social distancing requirements on public transport; and the removal of a six-person limit at tables in hospitality venues.

The removal of the six-person table limit will also apply to wedding receptions.

Ministers have also agreed that conferences and exhibitions can resume.

There will also be a full return to face-to-face onsite learning at universities and further education colleges.

The Executive’s advice for people to work from home if they can remains unchanged.

Published: by Radio NewsHub