Coronavirus NI - ‘High alert’ continues for Northern Ireland says Health Minister Robin Swann | First death in four weeks recorded as 76 new cases of COVID-19 detected | 48 new infections reported on Tuesday

Northern Ireland recorded its first COVID-19 related death in four weeks on Monday.

Wednesday, 12th August 2020, 10:04 am

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Joanne Millar store manger of Joules in Belfast places a sign in the shop window advising customers that face masks must be worn at all times as face coverings are now compulsory for shoppers in Northern Ireland.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus in Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom the Republic of Ireland and more

Last updated: Monday, 10 August, 2020, 18:05

  • First COVID-19 related death recorded in four weeks
  • 76 new cases detected over the weekend
  • Face-coverings now mandatory in Northern Ireland
  • NIHF publishes track and trace guidance for hotels

Face coverings now mandatory in Northern Ireland

NIHF publishes track and trace guidance for hotels

NI on high alert as frears over cross border spread of virus continue to grow

The latest Coronavirus rules you need to follow in Northern Ireland

It is now compulsory to wear a face-covering in Northern Ireland.

Face coverings - Starting from today (August 10) it will be mandatory to wear a face covering in a relevant place.  

A relevant place generally means a shop or shopping centre.  

As well as ordinary day to day shopping for items such as clothes, food or electrical goods, a face covering is required in any other indoor place where goods or services are available to buy or rent. 

This includes, for example, a bookmakers, a food takeaway business or a dry cleaner.

It is not mandatory to wear a face covering in a business that is able to maintain social distancing by using a system of ticketing or appointments.  

This might include, for example, a cinema, a hairdresser or a solicitor. 

You do not have to wear a face covering in a bank or a business that operates like a bank. 

There are circumstances where it is not possible to wear a face covering, for example, where you are eating or drinking in a restaurant, pub or café.  

If you are a customer of a food takeaway business, or a shop that sells food or drink for immediate consumption, and it provides seating for its customers, you may remove your face covering while eating and drinking at those seats. 

You do not have to wear a face covering in a gym or other place where the purpose of your attendance is aerobic exercise. 

If you remove your face covering to eat, drink or exercise, you should replace it as soon as practicable afterwards and maintain social distancing of at least 2 meters if you are in an enclosed space. 

If you are in any doubt about whether you are required to wear a face covering, you are advised to use one.  

Remember, maintaining social distancing depends not just on your behaviour, but also on the behaviour of other people in the shared space.

Face coverings are now being worn throughout the United Kingdom.

Social Distancing: From June 29 people in Northern Ireland must try to adhere to two metres but in the event that it is not possible and as long as particular mitigation is put in place, social distancing can drop to one metre.

Work: Employers should make every effort to help people to work from home where they can. But where work cannot be done at home, employers should take clear, practical steps to help protect workers and create safe places to work.

Travel: You should carefully consider your holiday and travel options, in light of the continuing COVID-19 threat.

A 'staycation' is one way of mitigating the risks - while also supporting the local economy. 

If you're holidaying abroad, you may have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days on your return home – depending on which country you have visited.

 A list of the countries and territories currently exempted from the self-isolation requirements is available at this link: Coronavirus (COVID-19): countries and territories exemptions

Family and Community (indoors): Since Friday July 24, up to 10 people, from four households can meet indoors in private homes.

Meeting friends and family indoors carries a higher risk than meeting outdoors. 

If possible, you should continue to arrange meetings with family and friends outdoors. 

If you decide to meet indoors you should do so as safely as possible and follow public health advice by: 

- limiting the duration of visits 

- ensuring good ventilation 

- maintaining good hand hygiene 

- practising social distancing where possible 

- the use of a face covering is also strongly advised. 

- Overnight stays are now permitted. 

Family and Community (outdoors): Up to 30 people can meet up outdoors but you should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart.

Social distancing is essential to prevent further waves of the epidemic. You should avoid visiting places such as seaside resorts and popular beauty spots whenever there is a chance that large numbers of people will converge and crowds will form.

Health Minister, Robin Swann.

Gatherings: The 30 person limit for gathering does not apply to gatherings of a particular nature, including those organised for cultural, entertainment, recreational, outdoor sports, social, community, educational, work, legal, religious or political purposes.

The organiser must have carried out a risk assessment which meets the requirement of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 and take all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.

The 30 person limit does apply to gatherings relating to indoor sports.

Funerals/advice for the bereaved: There is an increased risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) where families and communities come together following the death, from any cause, of a loved one. 

It is strongly advised that public health advice is followed to reduce the spread of infection.

Funeral services can be conducted in a place of worship or in a funeral home. The size and circumstances of the venue will determine the maximum number that can attend the service safely whilst observing social distancing of at least two metres, wherever possible.

It is recommended that face coverings are used for indoor services.

Any mourner displaying symptoms of coronavirus should not attend a funeral as they pose a risk to others.

Sports and leisure facilities: Outdoor sports from June 8. Indoor gyms to open from July 10. Swimming pools to  July 24. Other indoor sports courts to open from August 7.

NI is mandatory mask compliant

Violet Dubois, 85, shopping in the Card Factory in Belfast while wearing a face mask as face coverings are now compulsory for shoppers in Northern Ireland.

NI records first COVID-19 related death in four weeks - 76 new cases detected over the weekend

Northern Ireland has recorded its first COVID-19 related death in four weeks and 76 new cases were identified over the weekend.

The total death-toll according to the Department of Health now stands at 557.

The latest person to pass away was a female hospital patient aged over 80 in the Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area.

On Monday August 3, the DoH reported 40 additional cases from testing 3,206 individuals.  

Today’s report shows an increase in the number of cases detected over a weekend to 76 but it should be noted that 5,560 individuals were tested.

NI to remain on ‘high alert’ as ROI record 57 new infections

Health Minister Robin Swann

Health Minister Robin Swann has urged people across Northern Ireland to remain on high alert against Covid-19.

The Minister was commenting after his Department’s Covid-19 data dashboard recorded a death for the first time in almost a month.

The dashboard also reported 76 new cases since Friday, with the number of people testing positive over the past seven days standing at 165.

Mr Swann stated: “I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the person who has tragically passed away.

“This is very distressing news and it underlines once again the threat posed by Covid-19.

“I urge everyone across Northern Ireland to do everything they can to keep themselves and others safe. We all have to remain on high alert.

“There are practical and vital steps we can each take – including maintaining social distancing, washing our hands and wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces like shops.

“The Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer have warned against complacency – and I would call on everyone to heed that warning.

“We have a duty to protect those in our community who are most vulnerable to this virus.”

Meanwhile, the Department of Health in the Republic of Ireland today published its daily report in which it revealed 57 new cases but no additional deaths in the last 24 hours.

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