ENTERTAINMENT

Northern Ireland begins a two week breaker lockout today


Northern Ireland was locked again today as non-essential stores, hair salons and cafes close their doors for the next two weeks.

The country officially entered a new breaker lockdown overnight, just a week after getting out of another limited lockdown.

The country was ready to get out of the limited breaker last week.

But the number of infections rose as the lockdown ended last Friday, and ministers warned the health service was in danger of being overwhelmed.

The new breaker is expected to last through December 11th.

Most of the hospitality industry has now had to close again after cafes and close contact services opened last Friday.

Retail stores and services that were not absolutely necessary, such as hairdressers and beauticians, also had to close again.

Most of the hospitality industry has now had to close again after the cafes were allowed to open last Friday after the circuit breaker was locked again

Retail stores and services that were not absolutely necessary, such as hairdressers and beauticians, also had to close again. Pictured: A graphic shows what's open and what's not - a full list can be found at the end of this article

Retail stores and services that were not absolutely necessary, such as hairdressers and beauticians, also had to close again. Pictured: A graphic shows what's open and what's not – a full list can be found at the end of this article

Schools and childcare services as well as churches for individual prayer will remain open.

Take-away hospitality is allowed, but leisure and entertainment options are closed.

The measures were taken when top doctors warned hospitals that otherwise they could be overwhelmed.

First Minister Arlene Foster spoke in Stormont on Thursday: & # 39;This is only longer for a short time.

"It's important to have hope and it's important that we put a little more pressure on over the next few weeks."

After announcing the new measures last week, she said: “The executive has been presented with the sobering prospect that our hospitals could be overwhelmed within weeks.

'It is clear that tough, carefully coordinated intervention is required to give us the best chance of having a safe and happy Christmas and well into the New Year.

& # 39; The executive has decided to put a short, sharp breaker in place starting Friday November 27th to reset and bring down infection rates across Northern Ireland.

First Minister Arlene Foster said, "It is clear that tough, carefully coordinated intervention is required to give us the best chance of having a safe and happy Christmas and further into the New Year."

First Minister Arlene Foster said, "It is clear that tough, carefully coordinated intervention is required to give us the best chance of having a safe and happy Christmas and further into the New Year."

& # 39; This is not the position we were hoping for as the current stage of restrictions is coming to an end. Unfortunately, the R-rate has not gone down as far or as long as was estimated.

“It took us some time today to investigate the reasons for this.

“Unfortunately, it is clear that a negligent minority has significantly undermined the sacrifices of the many.

“So I would like to take this opportunity to reconsider those who find it acceptable to heed public health advice.

"We must all work together to save our hospitals, save Christmas, save lives."

Health Secretary Robin Swann said: “This virus has tested us across society in ways we have never tested before.

“Nowhere was the pressure as strong as in our health and social system.

& # 39; Without this further intervention, there was a very real risk that our hospitals would be overwhelmed before Christmas.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Nowhere has the pressure been as severe as in our health and welfare system.

Health Minister Robin Swann said: “Nowhere has the pressure been as severe as in our health and welfare system.

The care of Covid and non-Covid patients would have been seriously jeopardized. We can not permit that.

“We all have to work really hard now to have a happier holiday season. Please follow public health advice and stay home.

"Let's all redouble our efforts and take care of each other."

The executive intends to allow up to three households to form an exclusive bubble between December 23rd and 27th to ease restrictions this Christmas.

However, the move has been criticized by some, including hospitality workers.

Barber Bridgeen King told the BBC that it was "impossible" to keep her salon in Castlewellan open and closed.

She said, "You work two months a week to book them all," said Ms. King. I've been working 12-hour shifts since Sunday.

"I'm exhausted at this stage of the game – but you're doing it because you are your customer."

The latest figures for Northern Ireland show there have been 51,118 coronavirus cases and 962 deaths in the country.

Yesterday, according to the Ministry of Health, another 442 positive Covid-19 cases were registered in the last 24 hours.

The department's daily dashboard states that an additional eight deaths from the virus have been reported.

In the past week, there have been 2,438 new infections with 51,118 people infected with the virus since the pandemic began.

The Northern Irish executive also announced yesterday that it would remove travel corridors for those entering the country from Latvia and Estonia.

Anyone entering Northern Ireland from either country after 4 a.m. on Saturday, November 28th, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

What will be closed and what can remain open during the two week breaker shutdown in Northern Ireland?

CLOSED

All retail stores with the exception of essential retail stores;

Off licenses stay open until 8 p.m.

Close contact services and driving instructions (not motorcycles), except close contact for film and television production; Auxiliaries for medical, health and social services; and elite sports therapy services;

All hospitality (except accommodation for essential travel). Snacks and delivery, as well as food and drink, will remain open on motorways, airports and port terminals.

All leisure and entertainment facilities (including all soft play areas, gyms, swimming pools, etc.);

Sports events only allowed for top sports. Outdoor exercise for individuals / households and physical education in schools;

Elite sporting events behind closed doors with no spectators;

No household gatherings of more than one household, other than the current rules for linked households (bubbles), with current exemptions for care, maintenance, relocation, etc .;

TO OPEN

Grocery retailers, including grocery stores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and mom and pop stores;

Off-licenses and licensed businesses that sell alcohol (including breweries);

Pharmacies (including non-dispensing pharmacies) and chemists;

Newsagents;

Housewares, building materials and hardware stores;

Gas stations;

Vehicle repair and MOT services;

Bike shops;

Taxi or vehicle rental;

Banks, building societies, credit unions, short-term credit providers, and ATM savings clubs and companies that operate currency exchange offices for business transfer money (or a monetary representation) using funds or checks payable to customers ;;

Mail department;

Undertaker;

Laundromats and dry cleaners;

Dental, optician, audiology, foot care, chiropractor, osteopath and other medical or health services, including mental health services;

Veterinarians and pet shops;

Agricultural product shops;

Storage and distribution facilities, including drop off points or collection points, where the facilities are located on the premises of a company on this list;

Parking garages;

Public toilets;

Garden centers and flower nurseries (but no cafés or restaurants in such premises);

Cattle markets;

Places of worship, except weddings, civil partnerships and funerals. Stay with a maximum of 25 for weddings and funerals;

Schools and childcare remain open;

Universities / FE offer distance learning unless it is important to offer it face to face.

Public parks and outdoor play areas will remain open.

Other rules

Stay at home, work from home if possible, otherwise go only for essential purposes such as education, health needs, caring for others, or exercise;

Stay home and advise the PSNI on policing and police visibility.

Financial support package to be developed in the next few days.

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