Northern Ireland moves further out of lockdown as restrictions ease

Northern Ireland is taking further steps out of lockdown on Monday as a wide range of restrictions are removed.

By James Ward, PA
Monday, 24th May 2021, 9:55 am

Indoor hospitality can resume while people will be able to meet inside private homes for the first time this year.

Six people from no more than two households will be able to meet in a private dwelling and stay overnight.

All tourism accommodation will also be able to reopen on May 24.

COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are further eased across Northern Ireland. Cafes, bar and restaurants can now cater for indoor service with Cinemas also reopening. Jack and Margaret Larkin are served by Gemma Burns at SD Bells Tea & Coffee house on the Newtownards Road in east Belfast. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

A limit on the size of outdoor gatherings will increase to 500 – a number that will also apply to the number of spectators able to attend sporting fixtures.

Indoor group exercise is allowed again, enabling indoor sports teams to resume training.

Indoor visitor and cultural attractions can also reopen from Monday, which includes museums, galleries, cinemas, indoor play areas, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, bingo halls and libraries.

In regard to indoor hospitality, people can sit at tables of six people with no limit on households. It will be table service only.

Stormont ministers approved relaxing lockdown rules in Northern Ireland, meaning hospitality can operate indoors from Monday 24 May. Staff at The Lansdowne Hotel getting ready for Monday's opening. Picture By: Arthur Allison/Pacemaker.

Post-wedding and civil partnership receptions can also take place.

There will be no limit on the numbers at the top table, with a limit of 10 for other tables. Dancing will be restricted to a couple’s first dance.

Under relaxations agreed at Thursday’s Executive meeting, Stormont’s Stay Local message is also to be removed.

Schools can resume extra-curricular activities, indoor extra-curricular sports, outdoor inter-school sports and day educational visits.