Restaurants, cafes, bars and other hospitality venues in the North of Ireland can operate indoors from today, Monday, May 24, in another sign of a return to normality as Covid-19 restrictions ease further.
Six people from two households will also be able to meet indoors in homes.
Non-essential travel will be allowed to the rest of the UK, and a traffic light system will be in place for foreign travel.
The measures were agreed by ministers last week.
Twelve countries are to be on the North of Ireland’s so-called “green list” for foreign travel, including Portugal.
People going to countries that appear on the green list do not need to quarantine on their return.
But those returning from the likes of Portugal will be asked to take a PCR test in the days after they arrive home.
England, Scotland and Wales have already implemented similar systems, with the first travellers heading off on holiday last week.
If returning from a country on the UK’s red list, passengers must book and enter hotel quarantine.
Non-essential travel from the North of Ireland to other parts of the Common Travel Area (CTA) is to be allowed from Monday and people will not be required to isolate on return if they have visited family or friends in other parts of the area.
The CTA is the UK, the Republic, Channel Islands and Isle of Man.
Indoor household visits allowed, with up to six people from no more than two households (this does not include children under 12)
Overnight stays permitted
Indoor hospitality allowed with six people allowed to sit together from unlimited households (children under 12 not counted in the six)
Hotels, B&Bs and other travel and tourism venues to reopen
Post wedding and civil partnership receptions permitted, with no restriction on top table but restriction of 10 at other tables
Removal of stay local message
Schools can resume extra-curricular activities, with indoor sports and outdoor inter-schools sports allowed
Indoor visitor attractions can reopen with mitigations, including amusement arcades, bingo halls, museums, galleries and cinemas
Libraries can reopen
Indoor group exercise and training can resume, including soft play areas, leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, equestrian centres, venues relating to motor sport and activity centres
Up to 500 spectators allowed at outdoor sport events or gatherings
Increase in number allowed for indoor (non-domestic) gatherings, subject to venue risk assessment
Economy Minister Diane Dodds said the continued easing of restrictions was a “huge step forward for Northern Ireland’s economy”.
“Our businesses are looking forward to reopening but they are also responsible. It’s about doing things safely and making sure we don’t take any steps backward,” she told Good Morning Ulster.
Mrs Dodds also said NI tourism drives would be launched in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain.
First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill welcomed the moves, but urged people to remain cautious and careful given the prevalence, particularly in Great Britain, of the so-called Indian variant of the virus.
Up to 1,000 fans were allowed to attend Friday’s Irish Cup final at Mourneview Park in Lurgan.
But spectators will not be allowed back for Derry City’s game against St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday night.
The decision was taken after discussions with public health officials, “based on the current high rates of Covid-19 transmission in the city”, according to a statement on the club’s website.Tags: