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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Key dates in latest relaxation of restrictions


The Executive discussed Covid-19 regulations on Thursday. Press Eye.

The Executive discussed Covid-19 regulations on Thursday. Press Eye.

The Executive discussed Covid-19 regulations on Thursday. Press Eye.

Northern Ireland's lockdown restrictions are to be eased further from May 24, as the Executive confirmed a return to indoor hospitality from the end of the month.

The changes to Northern Ireland's coronavirus restrictions came following an Executive meeting on Thursday.

Among the key decisions, Stormont ministers agreed to allow spectators to attend the Irish Cup final as a test event for emerging out of lockdown.

Coronavirus Data Graphs

Up to 1,000 fans will be able to sign up to attend the clash at Mourneview Park Football Stadium in Lurgan, Co Armagh, on May 21.

Access will be strictly controlled and spectators, teams and staff will be required to take a Covid test before and after the match, with proof of a negative result to be provided on arrival.

Reduced social distancing measures will be in place for this event only. No food or beverages will be served.

As they met on Thursday, ministers heard the data around the virus "continues to have a generally positive direction of travel".

Other key decisions include:

  • Indoor hospitality is set to reopen on May 24 with mitigations, subject to a review on May 20. These include providing contact details to allow tracing to be carried out and a limit of six people at one table. Children under 12 are not counted in the total. Dancing and live music are banned.
  • The Executive has also given the green light for the resumption of mother-and-toddler groups and more flexibility for wedding receptions in 11 days’ time.

  • Indoor visits in a domestic setting will be allowed involving six people from no more than two households. Indoor visitor attractions including amusement arcades, bingo halls, museums, galleries and cinemas will reopen from May 24.
  • Schools will also be allowed to start running extra-curricular activities again.
  • Also from May 24, the ‘stay local’ message is set to be removed to allow people to travel to tourism and hospitality venues. Rules around movement within the common travel area will also be relaxed.
  • There is also to be a full return to outdoor sport and a return to indoor club training in squads from May 24, followed by a return to indoor competitive sport from May 31.
  • From June 21, restrictions on audiences in seated theatres and concert halls and other venues will be removed and the return allowed of conferences and exhibitions. These decisions will be subject to review in June.


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