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Indicative dates for further relaxations to the Coronavirus regulations have been announced by the Executive today.

The comprehensive timetable of indicative dates is intended to give notice that will help to facilitate preparations for safe restart and reopening.

Each proposed easement will remain under review until it can be ratified by the Executive ahead of the indicative date, based on the emerging situation.

The indicative relaxations agreed by the Executive today include:

  • Resumption of contact sport training (29 June)
  • Reopening of betting shops (3 July)
  • Resumption of further close contact services including tattoo parlours, piercings and spas (6 July)
  • Reopening of indoor gyms (10 July)
  • Reopening of outdoor leisure playgrounds (10 July)
  • Reopening of libraries (16 July)
  • Competitive sports (17 July)
  • Limited numbers of outdoor spectators permitted (17 July) with numbers increased at a later date (31 July)
  • Reopening of seated venues including cinemas and bingo halls (29 July)
  • Reopening of indoor sports courts and skating rinks (7 August)
  • Reopening of arcades (29 July)
  • Leisure centres and soft play areas (7 August)
  • Socially distanced indoor spectators permitted (28 August)
  • Open air museums (late August)

There will be further consideration of weddings and funerals and other gatherings early next week.

Following an update on the current virus transmission levels, the Executive has also confirmed the following relaxations to take effect over the coming weeks:

  • Opening places of worship from Monday, 29 June;
  • Indoor training for elite and grass roots athletes, 29 June;
  • Holiday and tourism accommodation, including holiday apartments, homes, cottages, bungalows, caravan parks and campsites from tomorrow, 26 June;
  • Travel to stay in a second home from tomorrow, 26 June;
  • The re-opening of hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes and coffee shops from 3 July;
  • The re-opening of visitor attractions from 3 July; and
  • The re-opening of nail, hair, beauty, barbers, tanning salons, electrolysis and acupuncture from 6 July.

The Executive continued its consideration of social distancing requirements and have agreed that 2 metres remains the optimum distance to maintain physical distance where possible. However, the Executive has indicated that, where appropriate mitigations can be made, a distance of no less than 1 metre between individuals should be adhered to. Ministers will engage quickly with the hospitality sector to discuss this issue.

First Minister Arlene Foster said: “Today we have reached the next rung in the ladder of our recovery journey as we have been able to confirm the reopening of significant sections of our economy over the next number of weeks.

“Our tourism and hospitality sectors have been working incredibly hard alongside the Department for the Economy to put all the necessary precautions in place to ensure the safety of staff and customers as we work together to kick-start our economy once again.

“Our places of worship have also been working intensively to welcome congregations back safely, albeit on a limited basis. I know that many will take comfort in being able to come back together again in collective worship from next week.

“As we continue with our phased approach to relaxations, our key priority remains keeping people safe. It’s important that all sectors have as much time as possible to plan ahead and prepare for safe reopening, which is why we have brought forward today a timetable with indicative dates for future relaxations.”