Non-essential stores in Northern Ireland to close for two weeks

Northern Ireland is to close all non-essential stores for two weeks as part of a new lockdown coming into force on 27 November.

Stormont First Minister Arlene Foster said Thursday: “The executive has been presented today with the sobering prospect of our hospitals becoming overwhelmed within weeks.

“It is clear that a tough, carefully timed, intervention is required to give us the best chance to have a safe and happy Christmas and further into the new year period.”

The government also said there should be no household gatherings other than those involving support bubbles, and that people should work from home “if at all possible”.

Deputy first minister Michelle O'Neill said: “It is a difficult and challenging decision and as a mother and daughter I understand how difficult these new interventions will be on family lives.

“Given the gravity of the situation there is no other choice but to act now.”

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