Executive grants quarantine exemption to Uefa officials and Villareal fans coming to Belfast for Super Cup final in August

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed a quarantine exemption for Uefa officials and Villareal fans travelling to Belfast for the Super Cup final against Chelsea on August 11.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 6:09 pm

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The final is due to be played at Windsor Park next month.

LIVE UPDATES: Coronavirus - Executive grants quarantine exemption to Uefa officials and Villareal fans coming to Belfast for Super Cup final in August

Last updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2021, 17:07

Executive grants quarantine exemption to Uefa officials and Villareal fans coming to Belfast for Super Cup final in August

Northern Ireland ministers have agreed to follow a rule change to international travel adopted by other parts of the UK and allow travellers from EU amber countries and the US who are fully vaccinated to enter without the need to quarantine from Monday.

The powersharing executive has also agreed to allow Uefa VIP guests and Villarreal fans to travel to attend the Super Cup in Belfast on August 11 without the need to isolate.

Chelsea fans travelling from England for the showpiece match are already not subject to any travel restrictions.

Ministers have also agreed to the return of international cruise travel in and out of Northern Ireland from Saturday.

Managed isolation arrangements for international students arriving from red list countries ahead of the new academic term have also been approved. These arrangements will come into effect on August 9.

Ministers also signed off on a bespoke Covid-19 testing regime for international travellers whose jobs qualify them for isolation exemptions. This will come into effect on Monday.

Six NI hospitals are operating above bed capacity and two additional Covid related deaths have been recorded

Six hospitals in Northern Ireland are operating at more than 100 per cent general bed capacity.

The hospitals are as follows: Altnagelvin Area Hospital, Antrim Hospital, Causeway Hospital, South West Acute Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Ulster Hospital.

The hospital care system across Northern Ireland is currently at 103 per cent capacity.

There are currently 31 patients with Covid-19 in ICU and 25 requiring the use of a ventilator.

The Department of Health (DoH) also recorded a further 1,471 new infections and two Covid-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours.

A total of 9,142 have tested positive for Covid in Northern Ireland in the last seven days.

The most recent Covid related deaths were in a male and a female; one of which was from the Antrim and Newtownabbey council area and he other from Newry, Mourne and Down council area.

One of the deceased was aged between 60-79 and other person was aged 80 or older.

As hospital admissions continue to rise there is one potential glimmer of positivity - new infections over a seven day period are down 5.5 per cent from 9,677 seven days ago to 9,142 for the seven days up to today.

In total there have been 154,167 confirmed infections and 2,178 Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland since he pandemic began last year.

NI staring worst fourth Covid-19 wave in UK because of lowest vaccine uptake

Northern Ireland’s chief scientific adviser Professor Ian Young has said the region could be facing a more severe wave of Covid-19 than other parts of the UK due to it lagging behind in vaccination rates.

In Northern Ireland, 83% of the adult population have received first doses while 71% are fully vaccinated.

Professor Young told the Assembly Health Committee: “I have to note that we lag behind England, Scotland and Wales in terms of first dose vaccination by around by 5 to 6% minimum, and in some cases by more than that.

“In terms of second doses vaccination, we’re very similar to England and Scotland but we lag behind Wales by about 10%.

“So, there has been a concern that the willingness of the Northern Ireland population to come forward for vaccination, for whatever reason, seems less than that in other parts of the UK and that will lead to a larger susceptible population in Northern Ireland and therefore the potential for a more severe wave on this occasion.

“Every small percentage increase in vaccination that we can achieve will make a real difference in terms of how quickly the current wave will resolve and the potential for future waves.”

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