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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Executive to ease restrictions for people living alone

  • Death toll in NI climbs to 538

  • In total, 4,822 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in NI

  • Scroll down to follow live updates

First Minister Arlene Foster has announced a number of new measures as Northern Ireland further relaxes its coronavirus lockdown.

During the Executive's daily briefing the DUP leader announced that:

  • People who live alone will be able to form a "small support bubble" with one other household from Saturday
  • The number of people who can meet outdoors while social distancing has been increased from six to 10
  • All retailers, including those inside shopping centres, can open from Friday
  • Church halls and community centres can open from Friday to provide childcare
  • People will also be able to begin buying and selling houses and moving home from Monday June 15
  • Elite athletes will be able to resume training

Mrs Foster said that the Executive wanted "to minimise the impact of loneliness and isolation on people by enabling people to meet in a controlled and straightforward way."

However people who are shielding will not be able to take part due to their increased risk from Covid-19.

Mrs Foster said that hairdressers, driving instructors etc would be "considered in due course".

She said regulations around childcare were being "finalised" and meetings were taking place on Friday.

The prospect of bringing forward the July 20 opening date for hotel, caravan parks and other tourist accommodation will be considered next week.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said the Executive was considering indicative dates for other parts of the recovery plan.

Northern Ireland's 'R' number, rate of infection, is between 0.5 and 0.9.

It comes after the Department of Health confirmed one person has died from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland over the past 24 hours.

The recorded death comes after four days of no reported deaths in Northern Ireland.

The death toll from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland is now 538.

Check out today's main developments below

Belfast Telegraph