Northern Irelandâs five steps out of Covid lockdown: key points
Northern Irelandâs deputy first minister, Michelle OâNeill, has unveiled a cautious five-step plan to ease the regionâs Covid-19 lockdown. The plan has no hard dates and will be led by data, notably the reproductive rate of the virus, OâNeill told the Stormont assembly on Tuesday.
The 28-page plan, titled Moving Forward: the Executiveâs Pathway out of Restrictions, envisages a five-stage process moving from lockdown to relaxation of restrictions for nine different sectors.
There will be reviews on 16 March, 15 April, 13 May and 10 June but these do not represent dates when restrictions will ease. âRather, they are appropriate dates â¦ to examine all relevant indicators,â said OâNeill. âWe do not want to set potentially unachievable dates which will only disappoint.â
Scotlandâs plan, unveiled last month, also eschewed a timetable, unlike Englandâs, which included dates.
Northern Irelandâs five-step plan:
Step 1: lockdown restrictions
In this current stage, contact is limited to one household and support bubble and schools are closed except for the children of vulnerable people and key workers. All non-essential retail, hospitality and indoor seated venues are closed. Non-essential travel is prohibited and and marriages and funerals are capped at 25 people.
Step 2: cautious first steps
Up to six people from two households can meet outdoors at a private dwelling. A partial return to classroom teaching.
All outdoor visitors attractions reopen and outdoor competitive sports can resume with no spectators.
Return to services in places of worship with risk assessment. Click and collect for non-essential retail permitted.
Step 3: gradual easing
Up to six people from two households can meet indoors at a private dwelling and full return to classroom teaching.
Indoor visitors attractions reopen including libraries, heritage sites, gyms and swimming pools.
All non-essential retail reopens and close contact services with mitigations resume. Hotels and B&Bs reopen with mitigations and public transport back to full service with mitigations. Phased return to on-site work and offices.
Step 4: further easing
Up to 10 people from two households can meet indoors and outdoors in private dwellings and inter-school sports are allowed.
Theatres, cinemas and concert venues reopen. Limited numbers of indoor and outdoor spectators allowed. Any limit on gatherings for funerals, marriages and civil partnerships determined by venue risk assessment.
Work conferences can resume. Close contact services without appointments permitted. Wet pubs open with table service.
Step 5: preparing for the future
Household limits in private dwellings lifted. Full face-to-face teaching in colleges and universities. Spectators allowed at school performance events.
Bigger outdoor festivals and concerts allowed. Live music and entertainment at receptions.
Work places fully reopen. Preparations for the full return of leisure travel.