The Stormont Executive has agreed that no new restrictions will be imposed in Northern Ireland for now.

At their virtual meeting ministers did agree to reduce the isolation period for positive cases from 10 days to seven, subject to negative lateral flow tests on days six and seven.

It comes as the authorities in Northern Ireland recorded 4,701 positive cases and three deaths in the last 24 hours.

The executive was told that the Omicron variant is now responsible for more than 90% of Covid cases in Northern Ireland.

The public were advised to take the booster and follow other public health advice.

The executive will meet again to discuss next steps on 6 January.

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Northern Ireland Department of Health modelling data, which was presented to ministers, indicated that while the Delta variant was expected to gradually decline, a "more modest Delta epidemic" could persist in parallel with a larger Omicron outbreak.

It set out that a peak in numbers would occur in early to mid-January/early February, with hospital admissions and occupancy peaking in late January/early February.

The extent of the peak would depend on the severity of illness with Omicron.

Officials were said to be closely monitoring data emerging from Northern Ireland, as well as the experience in England and Scotland.

Ministers were told that if Omicron was associated with illness as severe as Delta, "significant intervention" would be required to keep hospital inpatient numbers at less than 1,000.

But if the severity of Omicron was substantially reduced from that seen with Delta, close to an 80% reduction, current measures could be sufficient.

The latest restrictions, which came into effect on Monday, include table service only in bars and restaurants, two-metre social distancing in offices, the closure of nightclubs and a ban on dancing at hospitality venues, with the exception of weddings.

Under the new measures, people are also being asked to limit their social contacts, with the public being advised that only three households should mix together in a private home.

Last week, ministers agreed a £40 million grant scheme to support hospitality businesses affected by the latest Covid-19 restrictions.