Northern Ireland news

Coronavirus restrictions placed on Ballymena, Belfast, Lisburn and Crumlin areas

 First Minister Arlene Foster (left) and Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the daily media broadcast at Parliament Buildings, Stormont, in Belfast.

Coronavirus restrictions have been placed on Ballymena, Belfast and the post codes BT28 and BT29, which include Lisburn and Crumlin.

First Minister Arlene Foster said the restrictions would come into place next week but appealed to people to begin adhering to them immediately.

She said the Executive had today "considered how to arrest the creep of Covid-19 across our communities".

The postcodes are:

  • Ballymena and BT43
  • Belfast City Council area
  • BT28 (Lisburn) 
  • BT29 (Crumlin, Aldergrove, Glenavy)

Ms Foster said people from different households would not be allowed to meet up in homes in these areas unless there is a medical, legal, childcare or essential maintenance requirement or where two households are already in a support bubble.

No more than six people from two households can meet in gardens, she added.

She said the restrictions would be in place "for no longer than is necessary and we are going to review them in the next two weeks".

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said people in the named postcodes were asked not to travel outside the restricted zone unccessarily and where possible should work from home. Hospitals and care homes would also be advised to limit visits as soon as possible and one family member would be allowed to visit once a week, she added.

Older people and those who were shielding until the end of July should take extra care, Ms O'Neill said, and limit their contact with other people.

Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Ian Young said the majority of new cases being diagnosed were related to household gatherings or acquired in the community and that there was "limited evidence that cases are being acquired in controlled settings".

The announcement comes as the Department of Health announced that one further death had occurred and 73 people had tested positive for Covid-19. Read more

Meanwhile, the Executive has agreed that soft play areas will be able to reopen on September 14 while wet pubs ie: those which do not serve food can reopen on September 21, Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said.

Wet pubs will open on the same date in the Republic of Ireland.

Another 196 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the Republic, the National Public Health Emergency Team said.

Of these, 107 were in Dublin.

No new deaths were reported.

Dr Ronan Glynn, acting chief medical officer, said: “Today we have at least 37 cases linked with community transmission.

“Twenty-seven of today’s cases are over the age of 65 years.

Read more: Arlene Foster and Michelle O'Neill resume public coronavirus briefings

 

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Northern Ireland news