The NI Executive met today to review the current lockdown restriction and discuss which of these could be eased in line with the current Scientific information.
Announcing a number of restrictions that could be lifted if the R number was to remain below 0.9, the First Minister Arlene Foster said that these would provisionally come into affect on June 8th BUT a final decision would be made by the Executive on June 4th.
The restriction which could be lifted include:
- Hotels can take advance bookings in preparation for when they can accept guests.
- People will be permitted to leave home to attend to the needs or welfare of an animal or animals.
- Outdoor marriages and civil partnership ceremonies will be allowed, with number of people attending limited to 10.
- Outdoor sports courts will be permitted to reopen.
- The conduct of business by outdoor non-food retailers will be permitted, including new and used car retailers, retailers of light motor vehicles, lorries/trailers, retailers of caravans or motorhomes, and retailers of agricultural or other large machinery.
- The conduct of business by non-food retail outlets with lower frequency customer visits and / or with a greater propensity for larger store areas, will be permitted. But only where those outlets have direct street access or direct access within a retail park.
The First Minister reminded individuals to continues to follow advice, sayin: “As the Executive cautiously plots our path back towards normality, we must remain cautious about the spread of the virus. After all, we have not seen the full impact of recently-introduced relaxations. All the measures we have outlined will be introduced from the week beginning 8 June, provided that the R value does not increase above 0.9. As I indicated last week, if people act in line with the restrictions, the more likely the R rate will improve – resulting in more relaxations. If they don’t, we will not be able to do more.”
Reminding members of the public that their actions will determine how the Coronavirus spreads in the coming weeks, Deputy First Minister O’Neill said: “The actions of the public managed to drive the R rate below 1. We need to keep driving it down in the days and weeks ahead. As we go forward with the hope that a vaccine will be found and as medical and scientific researchers work at a breakneck speed in this global effort, social distancing is going to be key. However anyone who is flouting the regulations or the restrictions or is now choosing to ignore the public health advice could actually be extending lockdown for all of us.”