Northern Ireland expected to announce tighter public health restrictions 2 weeks ago

Northern Ireland expected to announce tighter public health restrictions

The restrictions are set to last four weeks.

Northern Ireland is set to go into a period of increased restrictions after executive ministers agreed to the closure of schools, pubs and restaurants.

The tighter restrictions are expected to be in place for four weeks and it's understood that schools will be closing for two of them, one of these being the half-term break.

The new measures will mean pubs and restaurants have to close, although takeaways will be allowed to remain open.

People will be urged to work from home where possible and not to make non-essential journeys.

Retail outlets are expected to remain open, as will churches, and gyms for individual training.

It's also expected sporting activities will be limited to elite level athletes only for the four weeks.

Current restrictions on household mixing will be unchanged, meaning no mixing of households in private dwellings and gatherings in gardens limited to no more than six people from two households.

The measures are set to be confirmed during a sitting of the Stormont Assembly on Wednesday morning and some of the measures will be introduced as early as Friday, 16 October with the rest coming into effect on Monday, 19 October.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill wrote on Twitter that "painstaking consideration" had been given to the "next steps" the executive would take.

On Tuesday, 863 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Northern Ireland by its Department of Health.

Seven further deaths were also reported, with four of them occurring in the 24 hours before the announcement.