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Mask-wearing in NI shops to be compulsory and reopening of 'wet' pubs postponed as coronavirus cases rise

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Face masks will be mandatory in shops from Monday (Niall Carson/PA)

Face masks will be mandatory in shops from Monday (Niall Carson/PA)

The cast and crew of The King Of East Belfast by Kabosh make final preparations for the live, socially distanced show, which opens in Connswater Shopping Centre

The cast and crew of The King Of East Belfast by Kabosh make final preparations for the live, socially distanced show, which opens in Connswater Shopping Centre

Three girls wear face masks in downtown Belfast

Three girls wear face masks in downtown Belfast

Photopress

We Are Vertigo staff getting ready for business in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter

We Are Vertigo staff getting ready for business in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter

Face masks will be mandatory in shops from Monday (Niall Carson/PA)

Face masks will be mandatory in shops here from next Monday as the Executive delayed the reopening of alcohol-only pubs to ensure children can return to schools full-time starting from August 31.

The significant announcements follow a meeting of Stormont ministers on Thursday amid news that our R-rate is highly likely to be over 1 and 43 new Covid-19 cases were reported — the highest daily increase since May 13.

Health Minister Robin Swann warned the rise in positive cases was a “wake-up call for the complacent”.