28/10/2021

No Winter Lockdown Expected - Murphy

No new Covid-19 lockdown is expected to be introduced this winter, Finance Minister Conor Murphy has said.

According to reports, Mr Murphy has said that ongoing discussions in the Executive has ""not pointed in that direction".

It follows the latest easing of the remaining restrictions, with the Executive deciding that social distancing in hospitality venues will no longer be a legal requirement but 'guidance'.

The Executive has also decided that nightclubs would be allowed to reopen from Sunday 31 October, and attendees will no longer be required to wear masks.
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Speaking to BBC News NI, Mr Murphy said that the public has "largely but not totally" adhered to existing rules, but insisted that that "needs to continue over the winter months".

Mr Murphy told BBC News NI: "You either have a blanket approach where [restrictions] are necessary everywhere or you try to find circumstances where you can mitigate.

"Any time you move to have restrictions at all there are always contradictions and confusions and situations arising in relation that which aren't as clear cut to some people."

"That's always been a balancing act from the moment this pandemic began, and from the moment we began to easy restrictions we recognised there will always be grey areas."

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