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Coronavirus: Executive announces partial easing of lockdown measures from Monday

  • NI death toll rises to 454 after five further deaths

  • Scroll down for Thursday's live blog

First Minister Arlene Foster has announced that garden centres and recycling centres will be allowed to open in Northern Ireland from Monday.

The DUP leader also announced that marriages will be allowed to take place if one member of the couple - or both - are terminally ill.

Mrs Foster said the Executive met on Thursday to discuss the potential lifting of restrictions in light of the latest medical and scientific advice. She explained the 'R' number, indicating the spread of the virus, was under 0.7.

She said the garden centres, ornamental plant nurseries and recycling centres would be allowed to open to the public as long as they maintain social distancing and public health guidelines.

Mrs Foster said the Executive hoped to be in a position to give more detail about Step 1 of the recovery plan on Monday.

The Executive is also planning to publish the matrix it uses to make decisions around easing the coronavirus lockdown.

It comes after another five people have died as a result of Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

Three of the deaths occurred between 10am on Wednesday and 10am on Thursday, while two occurred previously.

It brings the death toll from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland to 454.

Here's how the day unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph