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24th March 2021, 19:59

​Masks no longer needed outdoors from Saturday 11:59pm; Restaurants to be able to operate until 2am

Masks will no longer be needed outdoors as from 11:59pm on Saturday, the Government has announced.

They will still be required in enclosed public spaces and shops, and on public transport.

Currently, and until the rule changes this weekend, face masks are mandatory in Main Street and surrounding central town areas.

The news follows a further relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions. In addition, bars and restaurants will now be able to operate until 2am. This will be in effect on Thursday 11:59pm, in line with the end of the curfew.

Alcohol consumption in public places still won't be allowed between 7pm and 8am nightly, however, this doesn't apply outside bar and restaurant areas. The Government says these areas are included in the terms of the licensed premises.

The Health Minister has nevertheless reminded the public to follow public health advice. The Chief Minister says he looks forward to shortly being able to lift restrictions on the freedom of assembly as the Government removes all restraints on civil liberties in a safe and prudent way.

For its part, the Catering Association has welcomed the news regarding bar and restaurant closing times. It adds that all measures should be relaxed now the public has been fully vaccinated, and that it is longing for tourism.