The First Minister and deputy First Minister have written to the Assembly to provide an update on the Executive’s decision to introduce localised restrictions in the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
The written statement can be viewed online, and is summarised below:
Amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2020 published on 30 September imposed increased restrictions on venues where alcohol may be consumed across Northern Ireland.
The Regulations initially came into effect on 23 July 2020 and have been subject to several subsequent amendments.
A decision was made at the Executive on 1st October that further increased restrictions are required in the Derry City and Strabane District Council as a result of an alarming increase in the incidence rate of the virus in this area.
This follows announcements on 29 September on additional restrictions to the hospitality industry as a result of the increasing confirmed COVID-19 cases. Since then there has been a further increase in daily confirmed infections, and evidence of widespread community transmission in several parts of Northern Ireland.
Derry City and Strabane District Council has an incidence of 323 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population compared with an incidence of 133 cases per 100,000 population in Belfast, the next highest area of incidence. As a result, a number of measures will be imposed by regulations. Those are that:
The restrictions will be in place for a time limited period of a minimum of two weeks, and will be reviewed weekly.
In addition, the following measures are recommended in guidance:
Guidance will be provided to people living in the Derry City and Strabane District Council – this is advice they are strongly urged to follow to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
The additional measures proposed for the Derry City and Strabane District Council complement those imposed in Donegal since the 28th of September– what happens in Donegal impacts on the Derry City and Strabane District Council area and vice versa.
In addition, the level of fines for breaching the restrictions in place, not just in Derry City and Strabane District Council but across Northern Ireland is under review.