Bombardier said it has decided to stop production temporarily at all its Northern Ireland sites until April 20 due to the outbreak of Covid-19. 

"In the current unprecedented circumstances, we want to make the best decisions possible for our people, our communities, the wider Northern Ireland society, and the sustainability of our business," the company said.

Bombardier said that critical support will be required to continue during this time and so some employees will be required to work during this time, obviously continuing to maximise working-from-home opportunities and the safest working practices.

It has a workforce of about 3,600 in Northern Ireland.

The Canadian group also today pulled its 2020 outlook and said it would halt all non-essential work at most of its Canada-based operations until April 26 to help slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It said the suspension includes its aircraft and rail production activities in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. 

Employees impacted by the shutdowns will be placed on furlough, and the company's chief executive and senior leadership team will forgo pay for the furloughed period, Bombardier said. 

The planemaker also said it was cutting all discretionary spending and was pursuing additional measures to enhance liquidity.