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Coronavirus: Northern Ireland reports 1,217 cases - a record daily high

New restrictions announced by the Executive this morning will remain in place for four weeks.

Image: PA

THERE HAVE BEEN 1,217  new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours, its Department of Health has said.

Four further deaths of patients with the disease have died – two in the last 24 hours.

This morning the Northern Ireland Executive announced new restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Schools will close for two weeks from Monday, while bars and restaurants will be forced to shut for four weeks.

Speaking to the Assembly this morning, First Minister Arlene Foster said the Executive appreciates this will be “difficult and worrying news” for a lot of people.

“The Executive has taken this decision because it is necessary, and we discussed the impacts in great detail. We do not take this step lightly. We want these measures to have two impacts.

“First, on the Covid transmission rates which must be turned down now, or we will be in a very difficult place very soon indeed. Second, we believe it marks a point where everyone, each and every one of us, can take stock and go back to the social distancing messaging. That is vitally important.”

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