Isolation period for Covid-19 cases in the North to be reduced to five days

First Minister Paul Givan confirms change will apply in Northern Ireland from Friday

DUP First Minister Paul Givan confirmed on social media that the isolation period for Covid-19 cases in the North is to be reduced. File photograph: David Young/PA Wire

DUP First Minister Paul Givan confirmed on social media that the isolation period for Covid-19 cases in the North is to be reduced. File photograph: David Young/PA Wire

 

The self-isolation period for people who test positive for Covid-19 in the North is to be reduced from seven days to five, according to Northern Ireland’s DUP First Minister.

Paul Givan said on social media on Wednesday that the North’s Department of Health had confirmed the change would apply from Friday, January 21st.

The measure has already been implemented in England.

Mr Givan also said he hoped progress would be made on lifting some Covid-19 restrictions when the Northern Ireland Executive meets on Thursday.

The deaths of a further six people with Covid-19 were announced by the North’s Department of Health on Wednesday, and another 4,081 cases of the virus were confirmed.

A total of 412 people with Covid-19 are receiving hospital treatment in the North, with 28 of them in intensive care.

On Wednesday, the North’s Minister for Health, Robin Swann, announced he was to provide £25 million from his department’s budget to fund a pay rise for healthcare workers.

Making the announcement in a letter to health and social care employees, he paid tribute to them as an “incredible workforce who deliver compassionate care every single day” and thanked them for their “superhuman efforts” during the Covid-19 pandemic, efforts that had “carried Northern Ireland through the last two years”.

The latest developments came as British prime minister Boris Johnson announced the end by next week of Covid-19 measures introduced in England in the face of the Omicron variant.

Mr Johnson’s light-touch approach to dealing with Omicron saw him introduce work-at-home advice and vaccine passes as well as more mask-wearing on December 8th.

Mr Johnson said on Wednesday that none of the so-called Plan B measures would remain in England when they lapse on January 26th, as face masks would not be legally enforced anywhere and Covid passes would not be mandatory. The government said it would also no longer ask people to work from home, effective immediately. Additional reporting: Reuters