NORTHERN Ireland Faces Tougher Coronavirus Measures From 27th November, as health ministers say interventions are necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
Northern Ireland ministers today, Thursday, November 19, agreed that tougher measures were necessary, to be brought into force on Friday, November 27, for fourteen days, to curb the spread of the coronavirus, and to avoid a situation where top doctors have said hospitals could become overwhelmed with patients, and thus unable to cope, with Health Minister, Robin Swann warning that drastic measures needed to be taken before the end of this month, to avoid the possibility of a full lockdown having to be put in place in mid-December.
This new decision means that all restaurants and pubs will remain closed, and non-essential retail and services like beauticians, hairdressers, and driving schools must also close.
Entertainment and leisure services will also be forced to shut, as will places of worship, but hospitality takeaways will be allowed to continue to operate.
Other restrictions will include people being encouraged to stay at home and work from home where possible, and rules regarding the numbers allowed in household gatherings will not change.
Outdoor playgrounds will be allowed to stay open, as will schools and child-care centres, and universities will be encouraged to conduct distanced learning unless it is essential for it to be face to face.
The Stormont Executive decided sporting events will only be allowed for elite athletes, with no spectators.
The chief executive, Colin Neill, of Hospitality Ulster, the industry group, stated, “There is a huge amount of anger right across the hospitality industry. We have been left with no trade, no hope, and a huge amount of redundancies on our hands.”
Northern Ireland Retail Consortium spokesman, Aodhan Connolly, said: “This couldn’t come at a worse time for the retail industry. November and December are peak trading months, and millions of pounds per week will be lost in sales during what should be our busiest period.”
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