Coronavirus: Alternative ways to mark Mother's Day
AS Mother's Day celebrations look set to be overshadowed by the coronavirus outbreak, people have been seeking alternative ways to mark the occasion.
With the official advice to avoid all non-essential contact and over-70s being told to self-isolate, many will be unable to see their mums or grandmothers in person this weekend.
But for those unable to celebrate together, social media users have been keen to share their virtual plans.
One option suggested is a movie day, where children, mothers and grandmothers can all sit down to watch a film in their separate homes, but simultaneously, messaging each other thoughts in real time.
Skype, FaceTime and WhatsApp will be more popular than ever, allowing loved ones to see each other, but not in person. A Skype call could even be accompanied by a celebratory meal or refreshments.
Sending cards and flowers to loved ones or leaving presents on doorsteps is still an option. One idea could be a home spa with scented candles, music and treatments.
As many people have been forced to rethink Sunday lunches, several venues are also offering alternative ways to celebrate.
Ed's Bar and Grill in Lisburn is among restaurants who have had to scale back their plans for tomorrow.
But operations manager Andrew Bell said they will offer other options for customers.
"We had 170 people booked in for Mother's Day as we had a Disney Princess event planned," he said.
"Up until the other day, no-one had actually cancelled. But we knew we couldn't go ahead as those sort of events usually involve children getting hugs and high fives from the characters.
"So we took the decision to cancel as we didn't want to take the risk.
"We will still be open, but we've moved and staggered our bookings so that no two tables are beside each other.
"We also gave our team the option of working or not.
"We are also offering take-away on Sunday as an alternative for people to get their Mother's Day lunch, we're doing delivery within a five-mile radius.
"I think we will get a good run out for deliveries and our delivery drivers are taking steps by leaving food at the front door for our customers.
"We have also received calls from people in Lurgan and Banbridge who were asking about Mother's Day take-away."
Mr Bell added: "It is what it is, but we think Sunday will be a decider.
"This could be the death knell."
Another popular treat for Mother's Day is afternoon tea, which has also been cancelled by many venues across the north.
However, the Merchant Hotel in Belfast is offering an alternative.
In a post on social media, it said they were "delighted to announce that our delicious Merchant afternoon tea is now available to take away - just in time for Mother's Day".
"Enjoy freshly-baked scones with clotted cream and jam, along with an indulgent selection of sweet treats and pastries from the comfort of your home with our afternoon tea takeaway boxes," it added.