Northern Ireland news

Five players in Co Armagh GAA Killeavy club test positive for Covid-19

Killeavy GAC has shut down operations after a player tested positive for coronavirus

FIVE players in one Co Armagh GAA club have now tested positive for Covid-19 in 24 hours, with all members of the senior team urged to get tested as soon as possible.

After one of its players tested positive for the potentially deadly virus on Thursday, Killeavy GAC suspended all GAA activity across all codes - including last night's scheduled league game against Granemore.

It announced four more positive tests yesterday.

The gates of the club have remained locked as the Public Health Agency carried out its test and trace operation.

Co Down club Longstone also had a player test positive for Covid-19 on Thursday - the same day the Executive announced spectators would be returning to outdoor sports events.

Players from Eglish GAC in Co Tyrone were cleared to return to action yesterday, four days after one of their team-mates tested positive for Covid-19.

Last Sunday Banagher GAC in Co Derry had a confirmed case and 10 clubs in the county suspended activities as a precautionary measure after a cluster of Covid-19 cases was identified in the Limavady area.

Meanwhile a covid mobile phone app will be rolled out across Northern Ireland next Wednesday. The app will be a 'world first' in that it will contact trace people across a border.

An app by the same company was introduced in the Republic earlier this month, which 1.4 million people have already installed.

It comes as health minister Robin Swann asked his cross-border counterpart to consider new laws and data-sharing agreements to help track international travellers arriving on the island.

Mr Swann wrote to officials in Dublin expressing concerns about the "inability" of both jurisdictions to capture and share information about passengers transiting through one part of the island to the other.

For the eleventh day in a row there were no coronavirus deaths recorded in Northern Ireland.

However, with 15 more cases recorded in a 24-hour period in the north, Health Minister Robin Swann said he "remains unconvinced" people will wear face masks inside shops without "some element of enforcement".

The Executive will make the wearing mandatory by August 20 if 70-80 per cent of shoppers do not comply voluntarily following a public information campaign.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy has promised that the majority of an additional £600 million allocated to Northern Ireland by the British government will go to the Department of Health. A portion will be spent preparing for a possible coronavirus second wave and PPE supplies.

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Northern Ireland news