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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: PE to be allowed in school with no legal cap and more testing announced for care home staff

  • Department of Heath death toll rises to 730
  • Cases confirmed since outbreak now 40,179
  • Scroll down to follow Tuesday's live blog

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Stormont Education Minister Peter Weir has acted to allow schools more flexibility in how they deliver PE (PA)

Stormont Education Minister Peter Weir has acted to allow schools more flexibility in how they deliver PE (PA)

Stormont Education Minister Peter Weir has acted to allow schools more flexibility in how they deliver PE (PA)

Northern Ireland schools will be allowed deliver physical education indoors or outdoors and with no legal limit on student numbers.

It follows a legal change secured by Education Minister Peter Weir after schools were told on Monday to hold sessions outside with no more than 15 students taking part.

On Tuesday, Education Minister Peter Weir said he had secured a legal change - but added the Department of Education would "strongly advise" that schools limit PE to "non-contact sports".

Meanwhile, staff in care homes will now be tested for coronavirus once a week, Health Minister Robin Swann has said.

They were previously tested once a fortnight but testing frequency will now be stepped up from next week.

Mr Swann acknowledged the logistical challenges but said increased testing is "the right thing to do".

“The expansion of testing is one of the most important weapons in our continuing battle with Covid-19," he said.

On Tuesday, it was announced a further six people in Northern Ireland have died after testing positive for Covid-19 and 570 new cases of the virus have been reported.

This brings the death toll to 730 and the total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak to 40,179. Some 4,629 people have tested positive in the last seven days.

The six fatalities happened within the current reporting period, from 10am on Monday to 10am on Tuesday. One of the deaths was a female aged 80 and over who died in a Belfast hospital on Monday.

The five other deaths were men, one aged between 60 and 79 and the four others aged 80 and over. Three died in hospitals in Derry City and Strabane, Fermanagh and Omagh, and Lisburn and Castlereagh on Monday. Two died in hospitals in Belfast and Newry, Mourne and Down on Tuesday.

There are currently 413 Covid patient in hospitals across Northern Ireland, with 51 patients in intensive care and 44 requiring ventilation.

A total of 117 care homes are dealing with outbreaks of the virus.

The latest figures come after the Northern Ireland chair of the British Medical Association (BMA) has called for a second lockdown to be imposed, stating that the current second wave of the pandemic is "much worse" than the first.

Londonderry GP Dr Tom Black also branded the planned reopening of the hospitality sector next week "an act of careless vandalism".

Here's how Tuesday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph


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