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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Lockdown restrictions to be eased for those shielding as hotels to open in July

  • NI death toll rises to 524
  • People shielding in Northern Ireland can leave their homes from June 8
  • Plans to allow hotels and other tourist accommodation to re-open from July 20 announced
  • Scroll down to see how Monday unfolded

People in Northern Ireland who are shielding will be allowed to socialise outside from next Monday, First Minister Arlene Foster has said. 

Those shielding will be able to spend time outside with members of their own household or one person from another household from June 8.

Mrs Foster said the virus still presents a significant risk to what she described as "an extremely vulnerable group" but said this was a "reasonable and proportionate first step".

Those who previously received a letter advising them to shield for 12 weeks - up to the first week of July - will be contacted in the form of another letter.

The first minister said if the rate of transmission continues to fall, they will consider easing further restrictions.

It comes after the Department of Health announced one further death from Covid-19 in Northern Ireland.

It brings the Northern Ireland death toll to 524.

There were also 1,147 tests carried out involving 824 individuals with 12 returning positive. Six people remain in intensive care and there are 72 confirmed Covid-19 outbreaks at care homes, with 57 closed cases.

Earlier on Monday Economy Minister Diane Dodds announced plans to allow hotels and other tourist accommodation, including B&Bs, to re-open from July 20.

There was an outcry last week when the Executive announced it would allow bookings to take place, but did not give a time for when they could accept guests.

Mrs Dodds said that progress on re-opening will depend on controlling the rate of transmission of the virus.

Caravan sites, holiday home parks and self-catering properties will also be allowed to re-open from July 20, although it may be even earlier depending on scientific advice.

Here's how Monday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph