World News – GB – Coronavirus: Northern Ireland enforces circuit breaker lockout for four weeks


Pubs and restaurants will be forced to close from Friday, but places of worship and gymnasiums will be allowed to remain open

A four-week ‘breaker’ lockdown will come into effect in Northern Ireland on Friday in an attempt to curb the rise in coronavirus infections

Prime Minister Arlene Foster has confirmed the move and said the mid-term vacation will be extended and now last October 19-30

Pubs and restaurants will have to close unless they offer a take-out service, but places of worship, shops and sports halls may remain open

The Council area of ​​Derry and Strabane, which is already under additional restrictions, has seen the highest infection rate in the UK and Ireland, with a seven-day average of 970 cases per 100,000 inhabitants

The Government of Northern Ireland acted following a Stormont executive meeting that lasted until the early hours of the morning

The restrictions will initially last for four weeks and any extensions will require a decision by the Northern Ireland executive

Ms Foster said: « We are fully aware that this will be difficult and worrying news for many people

« Management made this decision because it was necessary, and we discussed the impacts in detail. We are not taking this step lightly

« We need to reach a different place both on the numbers and on getting back to basics of social distancing and I know everyone will want to work with us on that

There have been 6,286 new coronavirus cases reported in Northern Ireland over the past seven days, and Tuesday saw seven more COVID-related deaths

Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford told Kay Burley on Sky News he was considering a similar move, but Therese Coffey, the Work and Pensions Secretary, played down the prospect of a similar move in England

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer called on the government to impose a brief lockdown, accusing it of losing control of the pandemic

This isn’t a race Northern Ireland wanted to win – the first full region of the UK to impose a so-called breaker lockout

But with Derry and Strabane Council District still recording the highest infection rate in the UK, Stormont had no choice

The two largest parties in decentralized government – DUP and Sinn Fein – struggled to agree on closing schools

In the end, they made a compromise – extending the mid-term vacation to two weeks rather than the full four weeks of the last lockdown

This is not a return to the strict restrictions imposed in March – shops and places of worship will remain open with mitigation

There are often divisions within the power-sharing coalition, but they must present a united front for these measures to be effective

© 2020 Sky France

Northern Ireland, neither news, news from Northern Ireland, lockdown from Northern Ireland, coronavirus from Northern Ireland

News from the world – GB – Coronavirus: Northern Ireland enforces breaker lockout for four weeks


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