First Minister Arlene Foster said, “The message will be to stay home unless you have a reason to leave”

Northern Ireland’s decentralized government will implement the COVID-19 message of “stay at home” into law, the first minister announced

The nation is already in the second week of a six-week lockdown that closes non-essential retail stores, pubs, bars, and restaurants – aside from take-away services – and there is a 8 p.m. curfew for households and businesses / p>

But Arlene Foster said the increasing number of cases and repeated reports of large social gatherings meant the message had to be tougher

She said Northern Ireland’s lockdown was previously unenforceable, but it is now becoming law

“We’re going to get that stay home message back into regulation and back into law

“The message is to stay home unless you have a reason to leave, and those reasons are enshrined in law

“We think this is necessary given the huge increase in cases here in Northern Ireland”

Ms. Foster has not ruled out that schools will remain closed after an increase in the number of coronavirus infections

She said the question of whether the schools would reopen would be discussed by the executive on Tuesday

Ms. Foster said the goal was “to keep schools open as long as possible” but she would “take whatever action is necessary based on the medical evidence before us”

In his televised address on Monday night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the people of England were being asked to stay at home again

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that Scotland will be closed for the rest of January Most students are required to stay home and schools must be closed to most students through February

Ms Foster said Stormont ministers had “very difficult decisions to make”, describing the combination of increasing COVID-19 infections in Northern Ireland and heavy pressure on hospitals as a “very dire situation”

© 2021 Sky UK

Northern Ireland Lockdown, News from Northern Ireland

World News – UK – COVID-19: Northern Ireland to include “stay at home” message in law