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Coronavirus: Face coverings to be mandatory in shops and reopening of 'wet' pubs postponed

  • NI death toll remains at 556
  • Reopening of 'wet' pubs postponed
  • Face coverings mandatory in shops from Monday
  • Scroll down to read Thursday's live blog

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Face coverings willl be mandatory in shops and enclosed spaces from Monday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Face coverings willl be mandatory in shops and enclosed spaces from Monday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

PA

43 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Northern Ireland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

43 new cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Northern Ireland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Stock photo

Stock photo

PA

Face coverings willl be mandatory in shops and enclosed spaces from Monday (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Face coverings are to become mandatory in shops and enclosed spaces from Monday, the Executive has confirmed.

Pubs that do not serve food - 'wet pubs' - will also not be allowed to open from Monday as planned, and instead have been given an indicative reopening date of September 1.

The Executive agreed the moves during a meeting on Thursday.

In a statement, the Executive said: "We have a collective duty and a personal responsibility to protect each other, and everyone who can wear a face covering should do so. It should not be viewed as an optional extra; it is a vital defence in our ongoing battle against Covid-19.

"Face coverings should be worn in shops and other enclosed spaces and no one should delay adopting this crucial measure. It will help to protect you and others."

It comes after another 43 cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has announced.

That compares to 10 new cases identified in Wednesday's update.

There have been no further deaths from the virus and the death toll remains at 556.

The new cases were diagnosed after 3,614 tests were carried out on 2,753 people. There have been 6,049 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

A total of 118 people have tested positive for the virus in the last week, with 38 in the Newry Mourne and Down council area, 19 in Mid and East Antrim and 17 in Belfast.

There are currently two Covid-19 inpatients in Northern Ireland's hospitals with two in intensive care units.

In care homes there are currently three active outbreaks of the virus, with 173 having been closed after the virus was found to no longer be present.

The Public Health Agency has also announced there are 11 active Covid-19 clusters in Northern Ireland.

Since May 25, 23 clusters have been identified in total. 168 cases of Covid-19 have been associated with these clusters. Nine clusters have had five or more cases associated with them.

In addition, there have been 14 clusters across Northern Ireland with fewer than five people. Cases in a smaller cluster may also be associated with a larger cluster, for example, a common geographic location or common social setting.

Of the nine clusters with more than five people affected there were four clusters in the Newry, Mourne and Down Council area, three in Mid and East Antrim, one in Ards and North Down and one in Causeway Coast and Glens.

A cluster is defined as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19 among individuals associated with a key setting, with illness onset dates within a 14 day period.

Places which have seen a cluster develop include workplaces, retail or hospitality premises, domestic gatherings, and sporting settings.

Check out our live blog below to see how Thursday's coronavirus developments unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph