Schools in Northern Ireland have recorded almost 1,500 cases of coronavirus since they re-opened in August, the BBC reports.

Education minister Peter Weir revealed the figure on Monday, the same day that schools began a two-week lockdown in the country in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Weir said the figure of 1,491 cases was among "the overall school population" – including teachers, staff and students.

The minister said there are about 333,000 students at schools in Northern Ireland and about 19,000 staff so the positive tests amounted to around 0.4 per cent of the school population.

Mr Weir said schools had mostly had single cases of people testing positive.

The Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford announced a 17-day so-called “firebreak” lockdown for Wales from this Friday, but primary schools will open as normal after the half-term break. Secondaries will remain closed for all pupils except those in Years 7 and 8.