Another 53 people test positive for Covid-19 in last 24 hours - NO deaths reported

Another 52 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, according to the latest Department of Health dashboard.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 2:16 pm

That means that in the last seven days that 917 people have been diagnosed as having the virus.

In total 122,207 people have tested positive with Covid-19.

A total of 2,152 people have died with the virus in NI, according to the dashboard.

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There are now 29 people who tested positive for Covid-19 in NI hospitals - and of that number 2 are being treated in ICU.

There are now 4 patients with Covid-19 in NI Care Homes.

The news comes as Northern Ireland is the latest of the UK nations to ease coronavirus restrictions to allow people to socialise indoors.

Here is an update on coronavirus measures across the four nations and what further changes have been made this week.

A Covid Testing Centre. Photo by Jonathan Porter / Press Eye

– What is the latest in Northern Ireland?

Restaurants, cafes, bars and other hospitality venues in Northern Ireland can operate indoors from Monday, with six people allowed to sit together from unlimited households with table service only.

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

All tourism accommodation as well as indoor visitor attractions including amusement arcades, bingo halls, museums, galleries and cinemas can also reopen.

A limit on the size of outdoor gatherings, including the number of spectators able to attend sporting fixtures, will increase to 500.

The Stay Local message is to be removed and schools can resume extra-curricular activities, indoor extra-curricular sports, outdoor inter-school sports and day educational visits.

Non-essential travel is permitted to the rest of the UK, and a traffic light system is in place for foreign travel.

– What has happened in England?

From May 17, people in England are able to meet outdoors in groups of up to 30, and indoors in groups of six, or two households.

Pubs and restaurants are able to serve customers indoors, although they are limited to table service.

Other recreational venues such as cinemas, museums, theatres and concert halls were also allowed to reopen, although there are capacity limits on large events.

Up to 30 people are allowed at weddings, and the cap on the number of mourners attending funerals was lifted, in line with the safe capacity of the venue.

Secondary school pupils no longer need to wear face masks in class and communal areas, and university students could return to campus for in-person lectures.

The “stay in the UK” restriction was also lifted with people able to travel to “green list” countries without having to quarantine, provided they take one post-arrival test.

– What is the latest in Wales?

Wales moved to alert level two on May 17 with the reopening of indoor hospitality and entertainment venues.

The reopening of indoor service for pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes as well as entertainment venues like cinemas came alongside allowing up to 30 people to take part in organised indoor events and up to 50 people in organised outdoor events.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has said the country could allow small food festivals and small live music and arts events to resume too if the Indian variant poses no need to pause relaxing restrictions.

Mr Drakeford said that though international travel was allowed under a traffic light system, the Government’s concerns about reimporting the virus meant it would advise people not to travel abroad during 2021.

– What is happening in Scotland?

Glasgow and Moray remained in Level 3 of the five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions while the rest of the mainland dropped to Level 2 on May 17.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said improvements in Moray, in the country’s north east, meant it could join the rest of mainland Scotland in Level 2 on Saturday.

In Level 2 areas, six people from three households will be able to meet indoors, the same number can meet in a hospitality venue, and eight people from eight houses can meet outdoors.

Alcohol can be served indoors in pubs, cafes and restaurants, and cinemas, bingo halls and amusement arcades can reopen.

Social distancing during meetings indoors or in private gardens will be dropped, allowing people to hug loved ones again.

Nicola Sturgeon has also confirmed that Scotland will move to a traffic light system for international travel, similar to that already announced for England, though she said Scots should “think seriously” about whether to take overseas holidays.