WIDE-RANGING new restrictions on our day to day lives have been imposed by the NI Executive in a bid to reduce the rate of infection with Covid-19.
Among the changes are the closure of the hospitality sector, except for deliveries and takeaway, the closure of hairdressers and beauticians and no indoor sport of any kind will be permitted.
Schools and colleges will have a two week holiday break from Monday, 19 to Friday, 30 October.
Shops will stay open, with the Executive saying “further engagement is planned to ensure the sector does everything it can to help suppress the virus”.
The Executive also says it will “urgently engage with sectors and work on support for those affected as a matter of priority.”
Funerals and weddings are to be limited to 25 people with no receptions or post-funeral gatherings permitted and off licences and supermarkets will be barred from selling alcohol after 10pm.
People's “bubbles” are to be reduced to a maximum of 10 people from two households.
And masks are to be made compulsory while entering and leaving church.
People will also be advised to work from home unless able to do so, universities and further education sites are to deliver distance learning as much as possible and no unnecessary travel should be undertaken.
These three new measures are merely advice to be added to the existing public health guidance and are not legally mandatory.
These new measures will come into place from this Friday, 16 October for a period of four weeks and the restrictions in full are as follows:
Bubbling to be limited to a maximum of 10 people from two households;
No overnight stays in a private home unless in a bubble;
Closure of the hospitality sector apart from deliveries and takeaways for food, with the existing closing time of 11.00pm remaining.
Other takeaway premises will be brought in line with hospitality with a closing time of 11.00pm;
Close contact services such as hairdressers and beauticians are not permitted to open, apart from those relating to the continuation of essential health interventions and therapeutics.
No indoor sport of any kind or organised contact sport involving household mixing other than at elite level;
No mass events involving more than 15 people (except for allowed outdoor sporting events where the relevant number for that will continue to apply);
Gyms may remain open but for individual training only with local enforcement in place;
Funerals to be limited to 25 people with no pre- or post-funeral gatherings;
Off licenses and supermarkets will not sell alcohol after 8pm;
Wedding ceremonies and civil partnerships to be limited to 25 people with no receptions. This will be implemented on Monday 19 October.Venues providing the post-ceremony or partnership celebration this weekend may remain open for this purpose but may not provide other services for people who are not part of the wedding or partnership party and this will be limited to 25.