NI to reopen indoor hospitality and allow 500 spectators at sport events from May 24

NI to reopen indoor hospitality and allow 500 spectators at sport events from May 24

The Stormont Executive has met to discuss the latest coronavirus restrictions (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to allow 1,000 spectators to attend the Irish Cup final, PA understands.

Stormont ministers met on Thursday to discuss further relaxations to the coronavirus regulations.

The Irish Cup final is to be a test event, and spectators attending Mourneview Park in Lurgan, Co Armagh on May 21 must undergo a Covid-19 test before attending and afterwards.

Members of the public enjoy a drink and a meal in Belfast following the reopening of outdoor hospitality (Mark Marlow/PA)

The Executive heard that the data around the virus “continues to have a generally positive direction of travel”.

It committed to the re-opening of indoor hospitality on May 24, with mitigations in place.

That date is to be ratified on May 20.

May 24 is also set to see 500 spectators allowed at sports events, indoor domestic gatherings allowed, inter schools sports events, the reopening of libraries and museums, domestic gatherings indoors and indoor group exercise with limited numbers.

Wedding receptions and post funeral events are also to be allowed indoors, subject to risk assessments.

From June 21, restrictions are to be removed on audiences in seated theatres, concert halls and other venues.

That date is to be ratified next month.

It is understood that international travel was discussed by ministers but no decisions were taken on that.

Earlier, one further death of a patient who had previously tested positive for coronavirus in Northern Ireland was notified.

The Department of Health also counted 99 new positive cases of the virus in the last 24-hour period.

On Thursday morning there were 46 inpatients in hospital who were Covid positive, of whom three were in intensive care.

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