Portugal to be added to amber travel list for N Ireland holidaymakers

·2-min read

Portugal is to be added to the amber list for Northern Ireland holidaymakers, PA understands.

The new classification, which will demand 10 days in self-isolation for travellers returning from the popular destination, is to come into effect from 4am on Tuesday.

It is likely to spark frustration amongst those who have booked trips to the country which had been one of very few on the green travel list.

Afghanistan, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Trinidad and Tobago are to be moved to the red list.

The Stormont Executive also took decisions around hospitality at its weekly meeting on the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday morning following a paper submitted by Economy Minister Diane Dodds.

Ministers agreed to end the table service requirement for unlicensed premises such as cafes, as well as for buffets.

This decision will require new legislation to be passed, and it is understood that the departments of health and the economy will work together on that move.

Meanwhile Stormont ministers discussed the return of live music for venues following a paper from Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey.

In a video message posted to Twitter, Ms Hargey said she asked the Executive to look at the earliest date possible for a return to live music in bars, restaurants and venues.

“It’s important we provide certainty to artists and workers, and of course any changes we make will be in line with the medical advice,” she said.

“Musicians have been creative and have raised our spirits during what has been a really tough year.

“I have engaged with the sector and announced millions of pounds in funding to put money back in their pockets.

“I look forward to the return of live music in bars and venues as soon as possible so that we can all begin to support them once again in person.”

It is understood decisions may be made around live music at the next Thursday’s meeting of the Executive.

Earlier, one further Covid-19 death was recorded by the Department of Health.

The death was included in the departmental statistics on Thursday but did not occur in the previous 24-hour reporting period.

There have been another 80 confirmed cases of the virus recorded.

There were 17 confirmed Covid-19 inpatients in hospital, one of whom was in intensive care, on Thursday morning.

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