National & International Student Corner

Northern Ireland’s nightclubs are reopening as restrictions are eased

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Nightclubs in Northern Ireland reopened on Sunday as some remaining coronavirus restrictions imposed last March were lifted, according to the BBC.

The hospitality sector is expected to be busy on Halloween night, with legal requirements on social distancing also being scrapped.

Ministers want people to be sensible and exercise personal responsibility.

Customers do not have to wear face coverings when they are eating, drinking or dancing in clubs.

First Minister Paul Givan said: “We ask everyone to keep following the public health advice – the responsibility lies with each of us to protect ourselves, our families and the whole community.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “This latest set of relaxations must go hand in hand with the necessary mitigations and personal behaviours that will help to manage risks as people socialise together.”

What is changing?

The scrapping of 1m (3ft) distancing also meant nightclubs were able to reopen their doors and restrictions banning dancing in those venues have now been removed.

People are also be able to move around venues and stand to have a drink or eat food.

Customers do not have to wear face coverings when they are eating, drinking or dancing.

However, last week the Alliance Party’s Justice Minister Naomi Long said she was concerned the move could lead to a “significant” rise in transmission of the virus.

It is understood advice from health officials supported the decision taken, arguing that dancing is a “strenuous” activity for which face coverings are not recommended.

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