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Coronavirus: Executive to publish NI's 'road map to recovery' next week as four further deaths recorded

  • NI death toll rises to 422 after four more deaths announced

  • UK death toll up 539 to 30,615

  • Further 29 deaths in Republic of Ireland as death toll hits 1,403

  • Public asked to consider 'face coverings'

  • DUP MLA apologises after being caught shoe shopping during PHA briefing

  • Scroll down to see how Thursday unfolded

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Staff at the Mater Hospital in Belfast clap for the NHS on May 7th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Staff at the Mater Hospital in Belfast clap for the NHS on May 7th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Health care workers and Unison members working at the Mater Hospital Belfast hold a short ‘Clap for Healthcare Workers’ event to recognise and acknowledge the public support they have received over the last several weeks. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Health care workers and Unison members working at the Mater Hospital Belfast hold a short ‘Clap for Healthcare Workers’ event to recognise and acknowledge the public support they have received over the last several weeks. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Thursday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Thursday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

The death toll in NI has risen to 422.

The death toll in NI has risen to 422.

AP

Staff at the Mater Hospital in Belfast clap for the NHS on May 7th 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Northern Ireland's coronavirus infection rate is still too high to ease restrictions, the first and deputy first ministers have said.

While restrictions are not being lifted, Northern Ireland's "road map to recovery" is set to be published early next week.

Arlene Foster also announced the Executive had agreed it was advisable the public wear "face coverings" for short periods of time in enclosed spaces where social distancing was not possible.

But she stressed that did not mean members of the public should use surgical face masks.

Speaking from a Stormont press conference on Thursday, Mrs Foster said the Executive will continue its work on the phased plan to exit lockdown over the coming days.

However, she said it has not been possible to change coronavirus restrictions or guidelines due to the rate of transmission hovering between 0.8 and 0.9.

It comes as a further four coronavirus-linked deaths have been reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland

Figures released on Thursday show that up to 9.30am there were two deaths in the past 24 hours and another two previously unreported.

The death toll in Northern Ireland now stands at 422.

Here's how Thursday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph