Northern Ireland news

Cafés and restaurants to open outdoors from April 30 as Executive agrees lockdown relaxations

The Executive has agreed dates on which to ease lockdown restrictions

The reopening of tourism and hospitality sectors have been fast-tracked as part of a series of lockdown relaxations agreed by Stormont ministers.

The Executive has signed off on a plan with three key relaxation dates, April 23, April 30 and May 24.

After lengthy discussions today ministers brought forward a series of reopening dates they had been initially considering.

With Northern Ireland having marked one million Covid-19 vaccines by last weekend and with other key health and scientific indicators going in the right direction, ministers have agreed the most significant steps out of lockdown to date.

The PA news agency understands the Stormont Executive has agreed the following lockdown relaxations.

April 23

Close contact services, hairdressers and beauty salons, reopen.

Outdoors visitor attractions reopen.

Driving lessons can resume. Theory and practical driving tests resume.

Outdoor competitive sport will be allowed with numbers not exceeding 100. No spectators allowed.

Equine assisted learning and therapy can take place outdoors and indoors, limited to 30 people.

April 30

All remaining non-essential retail to reopen.

Self-contained tourist accommodation, such as caravans and rented holiday homes, can operate.

Licensed and unlicensed premises can serve customers in outdoors settings in groups of six from no more than two householders.

Removal of curfews on takeaways and off licenses.

Reopening of gyms.

Limit on outdoor gatherings in domestic gardens increased to 15 people from no more than three households.

May 24 indicative date 

Licensed and unlicensed premises can operate indoors.

Rest of tourist accommodation

Domestic gathering indoors

Indoors visitor attractions reopen.

Return of indoor group exercise, with numbers limited to suit the size of venue.

Wedding receptions and post-burial events can take place in indoor hospitality venues.

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