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Liquor licensing laws come into effect as Covid cases across NI drop

There have been eight further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland over the past 24 hours, two of which occurred outside the reporting period.

In the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area the total number of deaths increases by one to 349, second only to Belfast at 470 – up three.

The number of deaths in Mid Ulster is also up one 242 while in Newry Mourne and Down remains at 194.

There have been a further 1,039– down 124 – cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update.

There were 111 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon, which is the second highest in NI. There were 97 positive cases in Mid-Ulster, while Newry, Mourne and Down recorded 88 – the lowest in NI. Belfast had the highest with 173.

A total of 4,183 individuals were tested in that time.

There are 342 – no change– people in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 33 – up two – of whom are in intensive care unit.

There are currently 88 – down one – Covid patients in the Southern Trust area with 57 – no change – patients in Craigavon Area Hospital, and 20 ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital capacity in Northern Ireland currently stands at 104%.

The total number of deaths now stands at 2,564.

Meanwhile, as restrictions continue to ease, pubs and nightclubs – from today – in Northern Ireland will be able to stay open longer after changes to liquor licensing laws come into effect.

Some of the provisions coming into effect today, October 1, include:

  • Pubs and Hotels can apply to open until 2.00am up to 104 nights per year;
  • Smaller pubs will be able to open to 1.00am up to 104 nights per year;
  • Drinking-up time will be increased to one hour;
  • All additional restrictions on opening hours over Easter weekend will be removed;
  • Removal of restrictions on late opening on Sunday;
  • Licensed race tracks will be allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays; and
  • Registered clubs will be able to open to 1.00am up to 104 nights per year.

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