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Coronavirus Northern Ireland: Pubs, restaurants and hotels to reopen in early July as no new deaths confirmed

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First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Monday.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Monday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

The Chubby Cherub cafe in Belfast city centre is preparing to reopen. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The Chubby Cherub cafe in Belfast city centre is preparing to reopen. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill during the daily media broadcast in the Long Gallery at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Monday. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

Pubs, restaurants and hotels are to open in Northern Ireland at the start of July in a major stride out of lockdown, it has been confirmed.

It comes after meetings between Stormont ministers on Monday.

From June 26, caravan parks, camp sites and self-contained tourist accommodation will be able to reopen.

A week later on July 3, hotels, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, pubs and bars will be able to welcome customers back.

Pubs and bars opening on that date will have to primarily function as restaurants and offer substantial meals.

Stormont Economy minister Diane Dodds made the announcement about the hospitality sector on a visit to a Belfast restaurant.

"This is a good day for the Northern Ireland economy," she said.

First Minister Arlene Foster, speaking at the daily Covid-19 Executive briefing, said that Northern Ireland was in a "much better place today" than at the start of the pandemic. However, she stressed that the reopening of hospitality will only go ahead if the spread of Covid-19 continues to be contained.

Mrs Foster said the that Executive is considering a "graduated approach" to extending the bubble concept.

This will see two full households being able to interact. The Executive hopes to announce a date for this in the coming weeks.

The DUP leader said that the definition of keyworker is going to be extended to cover those in the manufacturing and construction sectors to enable workers to go back to work.

Mrs Foster also announced that a working group for the reopening of worship has been established and will have its first meeting on Wednesday.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill said that the Executive will meet again on Thursday to discuss further relaxations of the lockdown. She said she hoped to have "further good news" for when hairdressers and barbers can reopen.

Meanwhile, there have been no new deaths due to coronavirus in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health confirmed.

Four people also tested positive for the virus out of 702 tested. Five people are in intensive care with the virus.

Our live blog below will bring you updates throughout the day

Belfast Telegraph