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Fully vaccinated US and EU travellers will no longer need to self-isolate when arriving into NI

Villarreal and UEFA VIPs will be exempt from self-isolation for next month’s Super Cup final at Windsor Park as Executive announces a range of easements to Covid-19 restrictions

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Belfast International Airport.

Belfast International Airport.

Belfast International Airport.

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving into Northern Ireland from the EU or the US will no longer need to self-isolate from Monday.

The announcement was made on Thursday as the Executive agreed a number of relaxations to the Covid-19 restrictions.

It brings Northern Ireland in line with England, Scotland and Wales.

An exemption from self-isolation for Villarreal fans and UEFA VIPs travelling to Belfast for the Super Cup final against Chelsea on August 11, will also be put in place.

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Windsor Park. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA.

Windsor Park. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA.

Windsor Park. Pic: Liam McBurney/PA.

However, decisions around the use of face masks in schools and on whether to allow the return of conferences and exhibitions have been pushed back to the Executive's next meeting on August 12.

It was also decided to allow international cruises to restart from July 31, while students arriving from red-list countries will be put into managed isolation facilities.

Those travelling into Northern Ireland will have to be double vaccinated with accredited vaccines.

The Executive also agreed to ease social distancing to one metre in a number of scenarios from 6pm on Friday. It noted a “fuller discussion” on the issue will be held on August 12.

The requirement for social distancing will be dropped from two metres to one metre in retail and shopping centres, while the same applies to outdoor venues.

“The Executive remains concerned about the spread of the virus and its transmissibility,” the Executive said in a statement.

“Therefore, the Executive calls on all venues, customers and attendees to be mindful of this in organising and attending events, and to follow all the public health advice on matters such as hand washing, wearing of face coverings, the benefits of taking lateral flow tests, and the essential need to self-isolate if you have a positive test or are otherwise asked to do so.

“The virus remains a risk to our health and economic wellbeing and the steps taken today must be seen in that context.”

Live music will also be allowed to return to concert halls and theatres, and will include other indoor venues such as function rooms of hotels and community halls.

There will be no restriction to background or ambient levels of volume but entry to performances for audiences will be by ticket only.

The Executive also agreed the Building Forward – Consolidated Covid Recovery Plan that will be published on Friday.

The purpose of the draft recovery plan, the Executive said, is to accelerate economic, health and societal recovery in the short term so Northern Ireland can emerge stronger and also to transform and innovate to plan now for longer term ambitions.

“We have developed the integrated recovery plan to inform our priorities to accelerate recovery over a 24-month period through focused, collaborative working,” the Executive explained.

“The plan details 83 highly impactful interventions that will be progressed over the next 24 months to deliver recovery for all our citizens under four strategic recovery accelerators: sustainable economic development; green growth and sustainability; tackling inequalities and health of the population.

“These work together to ensure that we can emerge stronger from the pandemic.”


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