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Seventy-five new cases in NI as Deputy First Minister admits to ‘difficult few months ahead’

The Deputy First Minister says we are in “for a difficult few months ahead” as 75 new Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland over the past 24 hours.

It is a drop in numbers from the last several days, with no deaths reported, however, Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill says “where we are at today is on par with how I felt in early March” at the beginning of lockdown.

Ms O’Neill, speaking on Good Morning Ulster radio said the idea of introducing a curfew on staying in licensed premises like Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today was “pertinent” adding that the Executive would be making an announcement on this on Thursday.

The PM announced a tightening of restrictions for England in the House of Commons earlier today, which include a 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants, with the entire hospitality sector restricted solely to table service.

They also include: Office workers who can work from home should do so; face coverings must be worn in taxis and private hire vehicles, and by retail staff while at work; Customers in indoor hospitality will also have to wear face coverings, except while they are seated at a table to eat or drink; the exemptions to the rule of six will be reduced, banning indoor team sport – such as indoor five-a-side football matches; The planned return of spectators to sports venues will now not go ahead from October 1; and wedding ceremonies and receptions will be capped at 15 people from Monday.

Meanwhile, there are currently 36 people in NI hospitals because of Covid-19 – five in ICUs.

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