Northern Ireland to go into four-week partial lockdown



a person holding a sign: Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA

Northern Ireland is to close schools, pubs and restaurants in a raft of new restrictions to try to contain exploding rates of Covid-19 infection.

Arlene Foster, the first minister, announced the partial lockdown on Wednesday at a special sitting of the Stormont assembly in response to what has become a pandemic hotspot.

The new rules start on Friday and are to last four weeks with the exception of schools, which will shut for two weeks.

The hospitality sector will close apart from deliveries and takeaways. Off-licences and supermarkets cannot sell alcohol after 8pm. There will be no indoor sport or organised contact sport involving mixing of households, other than at elite level.

Close-contact services, apart from essential health services, are to cease. Mobile hairdressers and make-up artists are banned from from working in homes. Gyms can remain open for individual training but

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