Further restrictions likely in Wales, Scotland and NI

Ministers across the devolved nations are warning of further restrictions as the Omicron variant becomes the dominant variant in the UK.

Northern Ireland

Ministers in Northern Ireland have confirmed that a Covid-19 passport scheme is set to become legally enforceable from today (13.12.21).

In order to gain entry to licenced premises and entertainment venues, people must provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test result or evidence of a previous coronavirus infection.

The rules will apply to hospitality settings including pubs, restaurants and nightclubs, as well large indoor and outdoor events, such a cinemas, theatres and sporting events.

Under the regulations, businesses which repeatedly fail to administer the scheme could face fines of up to £10,000.

For the latest updates in Northern Ireland, click here.

Wales

Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan has waned that new restrictions are “likely” over the next few weeks in order to tackle the Omicron variant.

Whilst Ms Morgan announced that “no decisions” had been made yet on what future restrictions might look like, she said that whilst the Welsh government doesn’t want to enforce the same level of restrictions as last Christmas, they “will always act in the best interests of the people of Wales.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford also urged people to get a booster vaccination to help tackle the variant.

“This is a fast-moving form of coronavirus, which has the potential to cause a large wave of infections in Wales,” he said.

“This could lead to large numbers of people needing hospital treatment at a time when our NHS is under significant pressure.

“Our best defence continues to be vaccination. Emerging evidence shows the booster dose is vital.

“We are doing everything we can to accelerate our vaccination programme to increase the number of people who will receive their booster in the coming days and weeks.”

More news on Covid-19 updates on Wales can be found here.

Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon has urged people to book in for booster jabs, as over-30s now able to book appointments from today and 18-29-year-olds in the coming days.

She said her government’s aim is to offer a “booster jab appointment to all eligible adults by the end of this year if possible”.

More information on Covid-19 in Scotland can be found here.

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