Northern Ireland will be the first UK region to experiment a four-weeks Circuit-Breaker lockdown. Schools will be closed for to weeks, pubs and restaurants for a month.
Northern Ireland became the first full region in the UK to enforce a “circuit –breaker” lockdown. The country will do that for four-weeks after executive-ministers agreed on.
Northern Ireland: circuit-breaker lockdown
With this decision, pubs and restaurants in Northern Ireland will close for a month but still can do takeaways. The school will close for two weeks. Retail outlets will remain open, as will churches and gyms for individual training.
This move would not like a full-scale lockdown imposed during the first wave of the virus but do mark a significant ramping up of the administration’s response to spiraling infection rates.
It came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson faced pressure to impose a circuit breaker lockdown, with scientists who advise the government saying it could save thousands of lives.
A formal announcement is expected to happen during a special sitting of the Assembly in Belfast later on Wednesday. It is expected that most sporting activities will be limited to elite athletes for four weeks.
This measurement makes the Northern Ireland people to not mixing of households in private dwellings, with exceptions including those joined in social bubbles, and gatherings in the gardens of private dwellings limited to six people from no more than two households.
The deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill tweeted: “The Exec has given painstaking consideration to the next steps. We know this is hard and that people will be worried about their livelihoods, but we will do everything we possibly can to make sure there are protections in place for businesses, workers, and families.”
First Minister Arlene Foster vowed to “stand by” any businesses and individuals impacted by any new measures. The DUP leader, who will make the announcement in the Assembly, insisted it was not an option to “close the country down”.
She said, “For those who will be impacted by any restrictions that we agree, we will stand with you, and we will help you and financially support you as best we can.”
Mrs. Foster also added that it was “critical” that “long term” school closures were avoided.
A further seven deaths with Covid-19 and another 863 cases were reported by the Department of Health on Tuesday. Some 6,286 new positive cases of the virus have been detected in the last seven days, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 21,898.