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Pubs and restaurants will close for four weeks in Northern Ireland in a bid to slow down the country’s second wave of coronavirus, First Minister Arlene Foster has said.
The First Minister met with the Northern Ireland Executive last night to discuss the pandemic as the country’s ICU and hospital admissions continue to increase.
Arlene Foster said the government have "a role to break this chain" and implemented a four-week closure of all pubs and restaurants across Northern Ireland.
Addressing ministers, she said the closures were "absolutely necessary" and said the ban will be implemented from Friday October 16.
She also said schools will be closed for two weeks from October 19 until November 2 as an extension of the annual Halloween half-term break.
The First Minister said the Executive have discussed and put forward a number of new measures, including the closure of the hospitality sector.
Retail will stay open, but there will be urgent engagement with the sector to ensure customers and staff are adhering to guidelines.
Social bubbles will also be reduced, with a maximum of 10 people from 2 households allowed to meet, with no overnight stays permitted.
The First Minster said: "People pass Covid onto each other, and that happens in a variety of settings.
"Limiting our social contacts will play a role in breaking the chain.
We have already asked everyone to assist with this by not gathering in domestic settings and that has been taken forward in regulations.
"We also have local restrictions in Derry City and Strabane Council but the numbers have continued to rise, the doubling rate is of grave concern, and hospitalisations are on the increase.
"This is deeply troubling and more steps are now urgently needed. "
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