Ten new coronavirus cases in NI takes total to 62

Ten new cases of coronavirus have been identified in Northern Ireland, taking the total to 62.

According to the latest update from the Department of Health, the number of tests carried out - as of 2pm on Tuesday - stands at 1,338.

People with mild symptoms are not being tested, but advised to stay at home and self-isolate.

In the Republic of Ireland, 69 new cases of coronavirus have been recorded, taking the total to 292.

Two people in the country have died as a result of Covid-19.

Usually, St Patrick’s Day celebrations would be in full swing, but parades and a host of other events have been cancelled, while a number of bars have also taken the decision to close.

Social distancing is being encouraged, with people advised to stay away from large gatherings and avoid unnecessary travel.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Covid-19 pandemic was the "worst public health crisis for a generation".

He told MPs: "With immediate effect, I have taken the step to advise British nationals against non-essential travel globally for an initial period of 30 days, and of course subject to ongoing further review."

Among the latest closures are the Ulster University and Queen’s University Belfast campuses, while the Lyric Theatre in Belfast will close for the first time in its history.

Executive producer Jimmy Fay said the theatre was playing its part in helping to slow the spread of Covid-19.

He added: “This is the first time in the Lyric’s history that we’ve been forced to close our doors - even during the very darkest days of the Troubles, the Lyric remained open.

“The closure of theatres and other cultural venues will have a very real and devastating impact on the theatre industry and arts community as a whole.”

Church services across the Church of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the Methodist Church in Ireland have been suspended indefinitely, along with all parish activities and organisations.

The Catholic Church has also suspended public masses, with some services moving online.

Under guidance issued to churches, worship can continue by creative means that avoids physical gatherings, and steps should be taken to ensure numbers attending funeral services and weddings are kept as low as possible.

Additional measures regarding some funerals may be brought in as the outbreak continues.

The Beanchor group announced the temporary layoff of up to 800 staff and the temporary closure of most of its portfolio of bars and hotels.

The Dirty Onion and Yard Bird, The National, sixty6, Bullitt Belfast, TheUlster Sports Club and the Park Avenue Hotel will close with immediate effect.

The Merchant Hotel will remain open, with a significantly scaled back offering to ensure adherence to health and safety guidance on social distancing due to Covid-19.

Beannchor managing director Bill Wolsey said he has never witnessed a crisis like this in 43 years of business.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know