Retail and parts of the hospitality sector are expected to be allowed to reopen next Friday once the current restrictions have expired.

The Northern Ireland Government has imposed a strict two-week circuit breaker lockout from 12:01 on Friday 27 November until 11 December.

Ministers discussed whether restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus in NI should be extended or ended.

Another 11 deaths were reported, bringing the number recorded by the DoH to 1,026, while a further 456 people tested positive.

While non-essential shops and bars serving food are allowed to open, it is clear that wet bars may not be given the same chance.

Close contact services, including hairdressers and beauticians, are also expected to operate by appointment.

Gyms are understood to be reopening for private workouts but not classes, while indoor sports are also unlikely to resume, it has been reported.

The executive has yet to sign off on the measures, but a decision could be made this evening.

Close contact services, churches and even recovery centers all had to close for the two week break to prevent cases.

Almost a week later, the R-value of the virus is now estimated to be around 1.

It is believed that the Chief Medical Officer of Northern Ireland, Dr. Michael McBride and chief scientific adviser Prof Ian Young will receive questions from ministers next Friday about what restrictions, if any, should be introduced.

It is expected that families may bubble up to three houses before Christmas.

After an “extremely important day” for the country on Wednesday when the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was approved, Health Secretary Robin Swann urged people to “remain extremely vigilant” as he announced the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine in the north discusses Ireland.