FURTHER lockdown restrictions in the North will be eased from the week beginning June 8 but social distancing remains essential.
The Executive has deferred making a decision on allowing people to visit relatives indoors, but some businesses will be allowed to reopen in the next relaxation.
Speaking today during the briefing, First Minister Arlene Foster said the executive will consider further measures on indoor visiting in its next review by the 18 June but people can still meet outside, as per previously announced rules.
Step one of plan to ease coronavirus lockdown restrictions specified with the exception of people who are shielding, visits to immediate family allowed indoors where social distancing is possible.
However, the decision for people meeting indoors has been deferred because of the risk of increasing the R value, which Ms Foster admitted will “disappoint” people.
The ease of restrictions on June 8 will allow small marriages in an outdoor setting with guests limited to 10.
Outdoor sports courts can reopen and hotels will be allowed to take some advance bookings, though no date has been set for their reopening.
Some large outdoor retail with low footfall, such as vehicle and agricultural machinery sales will be allowed to reopen, as well as stores accessed from the street or retail parks, including retailers of household electrical appliances, computer equipment, mobile phone stores, furniture and home furnishings.
The announcement comes after today’s daily update revealed that there has been two more Covid-19 related deaths in the North.
This brings the total number of deaths reported by the Department of Health to 518.
A further 16 people have tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases here to 4,679.