Coronavirus restrictions extended across Northern Ireland

21 September 2020, 17:18 | Updated: 21 September 2020, 17:53

The Stormont executive said Covid-19 restrictions will now apply across Northern Ireland
The Stormont executive said Covid-19 restrictions will now apply across Northern Ireland. Picture: PA

Covid-19 restrictions will be extended to all of Northern Ireland from 18:00 on Tuesday, the Stormont executive has announced.

It means that there will be no mixing of households indoors with some exceptions. It also means no more than six people from two households can meet in a garden.

It comes after the health minister said that the rising number of coronavirus cases was "deeply concerning" and an urgent meeting of the Executive took place at Stormont on Monday afternoon.

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Arlene Foster said: "These are limited restrictions which I hope by taking action at this early stage means we can prevent the need for more draconian measures."

The evidence shows most community transmission of the virus is due to people visiting other households.

The DUP leader said: "It is in an environment where we feel safe and relaxed that we drop our guard.

"The mixing of households indoors provides one of the best opportunities for the spread of the virus."

Robin Swann said the situation is "concerning"
Robin Swann said the situation is "concerning". Picture: PA

In a tweet, Health Minister Robin Swann said "important decisions to be taken in the days and weeks ahead".

He also said that "everyone must play their part by following public health advice".

In the last seven days, 1,014 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

A further two coronavirus-related deaths were recorded by the Department of Health over the weekend.

Thirty-three people are currently in hospital, with five in intensive care.

It comes as the Prime Minister spoke with leaders of all three devolved nations on Monday.

In a statement, number 10 said: “Earlier today, the Prime Minister had calls with the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland about how coronavirus is spreading across the country.

“During these calls, the Prime Minister made clear that the rising infection rates are a cause for great concern, which he is taking very seriously.

“He reiterated his unwavering commitment to working with the devolved administrations as we continue to tackle the virus. They all agreed to act with a united approach, as much as possible, in the days and weeks ahead.

“The Prime Minister invited the First Ministers and the deputy First Minister to attend a COBR tomorrow to discuss next steps for the country.”