// Northern Ireland lockdown extended until April 1, but click-and-collect can resume from March 8
// Other UK nations are set to unveil their respective roadmap plans in the coming days
The lockdown in Northern Ireland has been extended to April, but non-essential retailers can resume click-and-collect services from March 8.
According to the PA news agency, the Stormont Executive decided to keep the current restrictions, which includes non-essential retailers remaining closed, in place until April 1.
The lockdown had initially been due to lapse on March 5.
However, Stormont said it would allow some pupils to return to school from March 8.
Northern Irish ministers also agreed to make relaxations to allow “click and collect” shopping from some outlets previously categorised as non-essential retailers.
This means that from March 8, click-and-collect will be permitted for shops selling baby equipment, clothing and footwear, and electrical goods.
The decision to extend the main lockdown restrictions to April 1 will be subject to a review on March 18.
Stormont is expected to formally confirm the decisions at a press conference later today.
Since Christmas, people in Northern Ireland have only been able to leave home for essential purposes such as work or exercise.
The news comes as other UK countries prepare to unveil their respective lockdown exit roadmap plans.
The Welsh Government is due to unveil its roadmap tomorrow as part of its three-week review.
It had previously warned that there was “not much headroom for change” with the current lockdown restrictions in place.
Along with England, the current lockdowns in Northern Ireland and Wales are the third of its kind on a national scale since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago.
Scottish Parliament is also to unveil a lockdown exit roadmap for Scotland in the coming days, while the government in Westminster is due to reveal plans for England next week.
England’s current lockdown is due to end March 31.
with PA Wires