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Coronavirus updates: Three further Northern Ireland deaths as Executive finalises plans for easing lockdown

  • UK death toll reaches 32,065, UK Department of Health says

  • Executive hoping to publish recovery plan on Tuesday
  • Scroll down to follow today's live blog

The Northern Ireland Executive has confirmed there have been another three Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland.

Stormont Junior Minister Declan Kearney confirmed the death toll for NI now stood at at 438. In the past 24 hours 806 individuals were tested with 30 receiving positive results.

Mr Kearney offered his condolences, saying those who had died of the disease was a "stark daily reminder" of the "critical situation".

He said Prime Minister Boris Johnson's change in message should not be confused with that of the Executive.

"Our message remains, stay at home, save lives," he said

The Executive has been discussing its plan on its "pathway to recovery". Mr Keareny said it had been a positive discussion and more work was needed before it could be presented to the Assembly on Tuesday.

He said it would not have "arbitrary" time frames but would need flexibility to change to developments in the virus activity.

He said it was a gradual plan, framed in five guided principles and would be reviewed every three weeks.

"These principles will be applied in considering whether or not to ease specific restrictions in any given point in the future," he said.

Mr Kearney said the Executive will still ask a "great deal" from citizens.

"We need a partnership approached between government and community, the better we all stick to the measures and public health advice, the sooner we will be able to come through this together."

DUP Junior Minister Gordon Lyons said there could be no dramatic lifting of restrictions.

He said that the economy minister was working on a plan to restart the economy.

"The reality is that devolved administrations are going to diverge slightly and at particularly points in time, mindful of the different circumstances in each region," he said.

He added: "We all need to be realistic about what life will be like in the months ahead. There will be no dramatic lifting of restrictions."

He said it would be "reckless" to believe the virus had been beaten.

Follow our live coverage for all today's main developments

Belfast Telegraph