NI set for 4 weeks of intensified restrictions - schools to close from Monday and hospitality industry to be impacted

Schools are to close from Monday and hospitality businesses will face tight new restrictions from Friday, it has been reported.

By Gemma Murray
Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 8:28 am

The moves are among a number of restrictions expected to be announced in the assembly this morning.

The drastic moves hope to stem cases of Covid-19.

Health officials had warned infections would rise further if both schools and hospitality premises remained open.

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According to the BBC, it is understood the executive has agreed that schools will close for two weeks, including the half-term holiday, until Monday 2 November, at which time a review of the impact of closure will occur.

Talks between ministers ran from Tuesday night into the early hours of Wednesday morning as they attempted to reach a compromise on a range of decisions.

It is understood ministers have agreed to the following measures to take effect from Friday for four weeks:

Closure of the hospitality sector, apart from deliveries and takeaways,with the existing closing time of 23:00 remaining

A school classroom

Other fast-food and takeaway premises will also have to close at 23:00

Off-licences and supermarkets will be told not to sell alcohol after 20:00

No indoor sport of any kind or organised contact sport involving mixing of households other than at elite level

Close contact services - apart from those meeting essential health needs such as hairdressers - will have to close, but businesses will be defined under the regulations

People pictured outside Queen's University in Belfast wearing face masks due to COVID-19

Mobile hairdressers and make-up artists - also classed as close contact services - will be prohibited from providing their services in people’s homes

Gyms can remain open but only for individual training - no classes will be permitted

Places of worship can remain open but face coverings will be mandatory when entering and exiting the venue

In addition, it’s understood: Funerals and weddings limited to 25

On Tuesday seven more coronavirus-related deaths have been recorded by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland.

Another 863 cases of the virus were also reported by the department, bringing Northern Ireland’s total to 21,898 - more than a quarter of which have been recorded in the past seven days.

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