EXECUTIVE ministers will meet again later to consider ways to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the North of Ireland.
It comes after Health Minister warned hospitality businesses may have to close over Christmas unless transmission of the virus falls.
On Monday, the Department of Health reported three further deaths and 1,496 new cases for the previous 24 hours in the North.
The North of Ireland’s infection rate is currently the highest in the UK, slightly above Wales, and has just overtaken that of the Republic.
Ministers have yet to agree on the messaging surrounding working from home and how to deal with those who breach the current rules.
The Executive previously met on Monday to discuss the same issues.
It has also been looking at how to remind the public of the basics in tackling Covid-19, such as wearing face coverings, hand washing and social distancing.
During Monday’s meeting, the Health Minister Swann presented a paper to ministers for consideration.
Following the meeting, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill tweeted that it was “constructive and progress was made” but it was agreed that “more work was needed”.
Mr Swann warned there was a possibility that hospitality venues may be asked to close over Christmas if Covid-19 cases continue to increase.
But he said it was not inevitable.
He also expressed disappointment that some hospitality venues had not acted responsibly after social distancing rules were relaxed.
However, Justice Minister Naomi Long said that the executive was “not planning for Christmas closures”.
Last week, Mr Swann advised anyone who worked from home when the pandemic began last year to do so again now.
His document also suggested introducing a “scores on the doors” Covid compliance rating for businesses.
Decisions on whether to strengthen current mitigations must first be agreed by the Executive.
Health officials believe the proposals could help reduce transmission of the virus.Tags: