SCHOOLS across Norther Ireland are to close to pupils from next Monday, March 23, Stormont ministers have announced.
Six new cases of the virus were confirmed in NI on Wednesday, bringing the total number to 68.
Schools in Scotland and Wales will close from Friday.
A substantial number of schools across the North of Ireland had already decided to close for the rest of this week after the St Patrick’s Day holiday.
First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill at a joint press conference this afternoon said that schools are likely to remain closed beyond the summer.
It is known when pupils will be able to sit their GCSEs and A-Level exams due to be taken in May and June.
Arlene Foster said: “We are mothers, daughters and sisters trying to do the right thing – Covid 19 has no political considerations… politics must be set aside.”
It has been announced that schools in England, Scotland and Wales will close from Friday.
Michelle O’Neill said: “This virus has changed everything. It cannot be business as usual.”