Coronavirus Northern Ireland: One death and 605 cases confirmed as SF’s O’Neill warns of restrictions lasting past summer

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has warned Northern Ireland could be facing restrictions lasting beyond the summer months as another 605 positive cases were recorded by the Department of Health.

The department also confirmed that one further death has been recorded, meaning the death toll in Northern Ireland now stands at 2,158.

The update on Sunday means another rise in positive cases – with an increase of 72 on the previous Sunday’s figure.

There are only limited figures published by the Department of Health at the weekend. The next full update will be on Wednesday because of the bank holiday.

The Department of Health confirmed that 2,122,962 total vaccines have been administered in Northern Ireland.

Michelle O’Neill said the Executive was watching the rising cases closely, adding that restrictions could remain in the region until the autumn.

“We will have a better understanding of our own situation certainly mid-summer and towards the end of July and be able to predict perhaps a bit further into the autumn,” she told the BBC’s Sunday Politics.

“But, I think what we would encourage the public is to just be careful. We all need to mindful as we make some easements and start to have some semblance of normality we all need to be careful.

“There are certainly some restrictions, for example face coverings, that the health team have not at this stage give us any indication. We are going to discuss it on August 12 on that one issue for example, but I don’t think we are going to be in a position to take a decision at that stage. I think we will be looking at into the early autumn before we will get more towards the end point of being able to lift more things.”

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