Social distancing measures reduced and other reopening dates announced

First Minister Arlene Foster has confirmed that social distancing guidelines in Northern Ireland will be reduced from 2m to 1m, subject to mitigations.

She told a briefing at Stormont that while “everybody’s objective should be to stay 2m apart from those from other households wherever possible”, it would be an important move particularly to support the hospitality sector.

“A minimum 1m distance between individuals can be considered acceptable in circumstances where appropriate mitigations are made,” she explained.

The first minister also announced the NI Executive has agreed indicative dates for the further easing of coronavirus lockdown measures, including the reopening of gyms, leisure centres, libraries and the resumption of competitive sport.

She said: “Some of the proposed areas incorporated in the timetable include betting shops from the 3rd of July, additional close contact services, such as tattoo parlours, reflexology and complementary therapies from the 6th of July, indoor gyms and outdoor playgrounds from the 10th of July, libraries from the 16th of July.”

Competitive sport, she added, can resume from 17 July, with leisure centres and soft play areas allow to reopen from 7 August, the BBC reports.

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