Coronavirus: NI Executive agrees to lift more lockdown measures

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Groups of up to six people who do not share a household in Northern Ireland will now be allowed to meet outdoors from Tuesday, the executive has said.

Ministers have agreed to ease more lockdown restrictions as part of the first step of their recovery plan, so long as social distancing is followed.

Garden centres and recycling centres have already been allowed to reopen.

Churches will now be able to open for private prayer and some sports, such as golf and tennis, can restart.

Drive-in church services and drive-in cinemas will also be permitted.

First Minister Arlene Foster said the executive did not agree to allow people to visit immediate family indoors, where social distancing is possible, even though it is included in step one of the pathway to recovery.

She said she understood that would be disappointing for some people, but she gave a “commitment” to keep the restriction under constant review.

Last week, the executive published its five-phase blueprint for recovery in Northern Ireland, but it does not have a timetable.

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