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Covid-19: Over 4,000 new Covid cases as hospitality businesses set to get up to £20,000 Omicron payment

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There have been six further Covid-related deaths reported in Northern Ireland in the last 24 hours.

The total number of deaths now stands at 3,054 – 28 of which occurred in the last seven days.

The ABC Borough accounts for 412 of those deaths. There have been 232 – up two – in the NMD district, while Mid Ulster accounts for 282.

There have been a further 4,451 – down 30 – positive cases recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the Department of Health’s latest daily dashboard update. There have been 25,823 positive cases in the last seven days.

There were 597 positive cases in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the second highest in NI. There were 387 cases in Mid Ulster while Newry, Mourne and Down recorded 570. Belfast – the highest in NI – recorded 738 positive cases.

There are 404 – down eight since yesterday – patients in hospitals across Northern Ireland as a result of the virus, 25 – down three – of whom are in intensive care units.

A total of 310 Covid patients have been discharged in the last seven days while there have been 193 admissions during the same period.

Currently, there are 114- no change- Covid patients in the Southern Trust area, 78 – the same – of whom are in Craigavon Area Hospital. There are 18 in Daisy Hill Hospital.

There are 23 ICU beds available across Northern Ireland.

Hospital occupancy in Northern Ireland currently stands at 104% – no change.

Meanwhile, Land & Property Services has begun contacting hospitality businesses to confirm their details to enable the Omicron Hospitality Payment to be made.

Over 3,200 businesses will be eligible for a one-off grant payment of either £10,000, £15,000 or £20,000 based on their rateable value.

Eligible businesses will include; restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, bistros, snack bars, nightclubs, pubs, social clubs and private members clubs.

Businesses are being contacted by email if they previously received a payment under the Localised Restrictions Support Scheme (LRSS).  The email will include a link to an online form, where businesses will be asked to confirm some relevant information and complete a declaration in order to enable payments for the Omicron Hospitality Payment Scheme to issue. These businesses should check their mailbox for this email, including Junk Mail folders.

If there has been no change in a business’s circumstances, the payment should be with the business within 7 to 10 working days of their application, depending on how long the payment takes to clear through the banking system. If circumstances have changed, Land & Property Services will need to carry out some further validation checks and gather some additional information, which will require additional time to process.

A process has been put in place to allow new hospitality start-up businesses or those that had not previously applied to LRSS to apply for the Omicron Hospitality Payment. These businesses can apply by downloading an application form from the nibusinessinfo website. This process and the necessary supporting documentation required can be found on the nibusinessinfo website at https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/content/coronavirus-omicron-hospitality-payment.

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