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Northern Ireland’s indoor gigs are still not at full standing capacity despite easing of restrictions this week

Northern Ireland’s indoor gigs are still not at full standing capacity despite easing of restrictions this week

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You may have thought with the UK well ahead of the Republic of Ireland in terms of easing of restrictions that Northern Ireland was on the same timeline as the UK.

Not so. While Northern Ireland had eased all restrictions outdoors to allow AVA Festival to take place at full capacity all outdoors last weekend, indoor events were still subject to restrictions that meant the only gigs that could happen were seated and socially distant.

The NI Executive met last night and after kicking the can down the road another two weeks previously, it was decided to allow full capacity indoor seated events to take place without social distancing.

The measures are to take effect from 6pm on Thursday September 30th and it will be advisory whether a venue will ask for proof of either Covid-19 vaccination, a negative lateral flow test or evidence of a positive PCR test within the previous six months.

The requirement for so-called vaccination passports for entry to the indoor seated venues is be advisory only.

Still, these restrictions are actually currently far behind the South who will allow full capacity no-restrictions standing gigs and nightclubs to take place from October 22nd, meaning the Northern Irish music industry still cannot plan or schedule full capacity gigs that they can make financially viable as yet.

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The next meeting of the NI Executive is on October 7th, when all remaining restrictions will be considered. 


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