But he says it’s too early to say what restrictions we’ll be under in December.

The Health Minister is hoping as many people as possible can see their families this Christmas.

But a spokesperson for Stephen Donnelly says it’s too early to say what restrictions will be in place for the festive season.

It comes as health officials are warning the recent progress in reducing the spread of Covid 19 has stalled.

The average number of cases over the last five days is just under 400, and the average number of close contacts has risen slightly to 3.2.

Infectious disease expert Jack Lambert says it’s clear compliance has slipped:

”People are not abiding by the lock down, people are still travelling for good reasons but also for non-essential reasons”.

”And then I think people are not maximising their ability to do all the Covid prevention”.

Vaccine.

Meanwhile, the team behind the Pfizer BioNTech coronavirus vaccine says it’s submitting a request today to US authorities to allow it to be used.

Trials have shown it to be 95 percent effective.

The firms say they can start shipping doses ‘within hours’ of it being approved.