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Northern Ireland's Covid nightmare before Christmas

  • ‘Death knell’ for retail as shutdown is brought forward to Boxing Day
  • 8pm-6am ‘curfew’ for first week as shops, salons and hospitality close
  • ‘Dire’ number of cases demanded urgent intervention, insists O’Neill

The six-week lockdown from Boxing Day will sound the "death knell" for a "tsunami" of retail and hospitality businesses - with some retailers now forced to bring forward the traditional December 26 sales, sector chiefs have warned.

From midnight on Christmas Day, all but 'essential' retailers will be forced to shut until early February.