BELFAST (Reuters) – Northern Ireland halted its programme of reopening pubs and ordered citizens to wear face masks indoors after reporting the highest number of daily cases of COVID-19 since May.

The British region reported 43 new cases on Thursday compared to a total of 18 in the previous five days.

“Because of the concern around the level of community transmission and the desire to frankly prioritise the reopening of our schools … we have decided that it is prudent to pause the reopening of our public houses,” First Minister Arlene Foster told reporters.

(Reporting by William James, Ian Graham and Conor Humphries; editing by Stephen Addison)

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