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Covid news from Scotland, Wales & NI

The latest updates on Covid-19 across Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.

Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed this week that a Covid vaccine passport scheme will not be enforced on pubs, restaurants and other venues after 6th December.

The requirement will remain in place for nightclubs, large live events and some bars, with unvaccinated people in Scotland required to show proof of a recent negative lateral flow test result.

Ms Sturgeon, said: “I can confirm that at this stage we have decided not to extend the scope of the scheme,” she said.

“We have taken account of the fact that although our situation is precarious, cases are currently stable and indeed slightly declining, and we have considered the inevitable impact vaccine certification has on the operation of businesses, and concluded that, at this stage, extension would not be proportionate.

“We were also mindful of the need over the coming weeks of getting across the message that it is important to be vaccinated and tested ahead of socialising in any setting, including in homes and shopping centres – not just in those that might be covered by a certification scheme.”

For more guidance on the current rules in place in Scotland, click here.

Northern Ireland

Residents in Northern Ireland have been urged to work from home “where possible” following a rise in Covid-19 cases – it is the highest in the UK and ahead of the Republic of Ireland.

Ministers have urged people to take up the offer of vaccines and booster jabs, warning that “unvaccinated adults aged under 50 are almost 11 times more likely to require hospitalisation from Covid-19.”

The Northern Ireland Health Minister has warned that hospitality venues may be forced to close over the Christmas period if cases aren’t brought under control.

Health Minister Robin Swann, commented: “If the current trajectory continues with regard to the increased cases we are seeing, we may once again face the possibility where venues are asked to close their doors during the Christmas season”.

“But let me be clear, it is not inevitable and I do not want to have to re-introduce further restrictions unless completely unavoidable.”

More information on the current Covid rules in Northern Ireland can be found here.

Wales

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has said that he thinks it unlikely that further Covid restrictions will be needed over Christmas.

He said: “Christmas this year will undoubtedly be substantially better than last year because I really don’t think we’re going to have to make the same sort of decisions we did last year unless there really is a vaccine-busting variant that would cause real concern for us.

“The challenge, though, is when you look around the rest of northern and eastern Europe you’re seeing a further surge in Covid cases. And we already have very high case rates here.”

Mr Gething did say that however, that introducing Covid passports to pubs, restaurants, and bars was being actively discussed in cabinet at the moment.

For more information on current Covid regulations in Wales, click here.


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