Northern Ireland lockdown: schools, pubs and restaurants to close in bid to curb Covid-19 spiral

Northern Ireland is going into lockdown for four weeks, the North’s First Minister Arlene Foster confirmed in the Stormont Assembly on Wednesday.

With the incidence of Covid-19 continuing to spiral upwards and with pressure on hospital beds, Ms Foster told Assembly members that the hospitality sector will shutdown for four weeks from Friday while schools will close for two weeks beginning Monday.

Takeaways and deliveries will be allowed but pubs and restaurants must close for a four-week period, said Ms Foster.

Off-licences and supermarkets will not be allowed to sell alcohol after 8pm.

Churches can remain open but attendance at weddings and civil partnerships will be limited to 25 people, and receptions will not be allowed. This will apply from Monday.

Funerals will be limited to 25 people with no gatherings before or after a service.

People will be advised not to undertake any “unnecessary travel”. No indoor sport of any kind or organised contact sports will be permitted other than at elite level.