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Coronavirus updates: Four further deaths in Northern Ireland

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A Covid-19 ward in the Nightingale hospital, Belfast

A Covid-19 ward in the Nightingale hospital, Belfast

Coronavirus cases in Northern Ireland on May 16

Coronavirus cases in Northern Ireland on May 16

A Covid-19 ward in the Nightingale hospital, Belfast

There have been four more Covid-19-linked deaths in Northern Ireland, the Department of Health has said.

The total number of deaths here, most of which took place in hospitals, now stands at 473.

Three of those deaths happened in the last 24 hours.

There have now been 46,738 coronavirus tests carried out in Northern Ireland, 4,357 of which have been positive.

Meanwhile, the first phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions in the Republic of Ireland is to happen on Monday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said.

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar briefing on the first phase of easing restrictions

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar briefing on the first phase of easing restrictions

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Taoiseach Leo Varadkar briefing on the first phase of easing restrictions


Speaking on Friday, Mr Varadkar said the decision comes following advice from the National Public Health and Emergency Team (NPHET), a group of scientific experts who have been advising the Irish Government on Covid-19.

It was confirmed on Friday the coronavirus death toll in Ireland had risen to 1,518 after a further 16 deaths were announced by the NPHET.

In Northern Ireland, garden and recycling centres will be allowed to open from Monday in some of the first steps to ease lockdown.

Marriage ceremonies will also be allowed for those who are terminally ill.

Mr Varadkar said that, while the decision to begin lifting restrictions gives the public "reason to hope", he warned it is not a "cause for celebration".

The lifting of restrictions there includes allowing small groups of four people to meet outside while social distancing.

People involved mainly in outdoor work will be able to return to work, including construction workers, gardeners and people tending to allotments.

Garden centres, hardware stores, farmers' markets, opticians and mechanics will also be able to reopen, along with some other measures.

Here's how Saturday unfolded:

Belfast Telegraph