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Coronavirus: More confusion as Swann does a U-turn after saying masks in shops to be law in Northern Ireland

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First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Health Minister Robin Swann during the Executive meeting to discuss how to significantly increase the wearing of face coverings inside shops in Northern Ireland

First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Health Minister Robin Swann during the Executive meeting to discuss how to significantly increase the wearing of face coverings inside shops in Northern Ireland

PA

First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Health Minister Robin Swann during the Executive meeting to discuss how to significantly increase the wearing of face coverings inside shops in Northern Ireland

The Executive has backed down on making face masks in shops here mandatory - at least for the moment - as the issue descended into farce on Thursday night.

Instead, ministers are launching a campaign to encourage people to cover up in stores.

They will consider the level of compliance by August 20 and could then decide on steps around enforcement.