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Coronavirus: No school reopening date, says minister as 14 further Northern Ireland deaths reported

  • NI death toll reaches 418 after further 14 reported
  • Scroll down to see how Wednesday unfolded

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No date has been set for the reopening of schools in Northern Ireland. (Tim Goode/PA)

No date has been set for the reopening of schools in Northern Ireland. (Tim Goode/PA)

General view of members of the public enjoying their daily exercise in Botanic Gardens, Belfast on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

General view of members of the public enjoying their daily exercise in Botanic Gardens, Belfast on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

No date has been set for the reopening of schools in Northern Ireland. (Tim Goode/PA)

There is no planned date in place for the return of schools, Education Minister Peter Weir has said.

Speaking at the Stormont press conference on Wednesday, Mr Weir said despite speculation about schools reopening, a number of issues still had to be addressed.

"When schools do reopen, there won't be a return to normality," he said. "There is likely to be a phasing of the return of pupils along with the continuation of some form of remote learning."

Finance Minister Conor Murphy said the Executive was working "intensely" on plans to ease restrictions post the coronavirus lockdown.

The Executive has agreed more than £1.1bn in funding to deal with Covid-19, along with £6.75million for local hospices.

The ministers both appealed for people to adhere to social distancing as the bank holiday weekend approaches and with the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday.

Mr Weir said: "People should not be holding street parties or other celebrations that would break social distancing restrictions."

On Wednesday, a further 14 coronavirus-linked deaths were reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland, bringing the total death toll to 418 people.

Three happened in the 24 hours up to 9.30am on Wednesday, while 11 had been previously unreported.

There were also 1,301 tests carried out in the past 24 hours on 1,021 individuals. A total of 53 tested positive.

There have been over 33,000 tests with almost 4,000 found to have the disease.

Here's how Wednesday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph