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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    That's it for our live coverage for today - thanks for joining us.

    The morning team will have further updates from 07:30 BST tomorrow, Wednesday.

    Goodnight and stay safe.

    Coastal path in Crawfordsburn, County Down
    Image caption: Coastal path in Crawfordsburn, County Down
  2. How to ease your dog out of lockdown

    After more than two months of staying at home, working from home and staying close to home on walks, the easing of restrictions could have an adverse effect on our animals.

    Dr Chris Muldoon is a former Guide Dogs instructor and works as operations manager at the charity Dogs for Good. He says separation anxiety could be a real threat when owners go back to work.

    dog

    He says there a number of steps dog owners can take to ease the transition.

    • Pretending to go to work - wearing office clothes in the house and picking up your keys and going outside for a few minutes can get the dog used to you leaving again.
    • When you come back in, don't make a fuss of the dog
    • If the dog barks, don't react. The worst thing for anxiety is to create more anxiety.

    Dr Muldoon said: "If you were a responsible dog owner before lockdown, be an even more responsible dog walker now because your dog might not have interacted with another dog for months or longer so expecting it to behave as it did before is a bit unrealistic."

    Read more here

  3. Can coronavirus affect eyesight?

    UK PM Boris Johnson said on Monday that he had experienced problems with his eyesight after having coronavirus.

    The admission came after Mr Johnson's chief aide, Dominic Cummings, below, said the reason he made a 60-mile round trip by car to Barnard Castle during the country's lockdown was to test his eyes on the road.

    So does Covid-19 affect a person's eyesight? Well, eye symptoms with the virus are rare but not unheard of, experts say.

    Similar infections can cause viral conjunctivitis, which makes the eyes water and feel gritty and uncomfortable, rather than painful.

    Read more here.

    Dominic Cummings
  4. Some government monuments to reopen - Hargey

    Most monuments under state care will reopen to the public from Thursday, Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said.

    There are 190 historic monuments managed by Stormont.

    Historic outdoor spaces that people will be able to enjoy from next week include:

    • Giant’s Ring in South Belfast;
    • Inch Abbey near Downpatrick, County Down;
    • Nendrum Monastic Site on Strangford Lough;
    • Tully Castle in County Fermanagh;
    • Kinbane Castle near Ballycastle.

    Facilities including toilets, visitors’ centres, cafes and shops will remain closed.

    The only sites which will not open are those with "significant amounts of indoor space or which present particular safety or public health challenges".

    Sites which will remain closed to the public for the time being include Carrickfergus Castle and Dunluce Castle.

    Tully Castle in County Fermanagh

    Ms Hargey said that the public would once again be able to enjoy the "beauty and history of dozens of outdoor spaces".

    “I recognise how hard the restrictions have been and the impact that has had on people’s physical and mental health. However, it would be remiss of me not to remind the public that we have not yet emerged from the Covid-19 crisis," she added.

    She reminded people to continue to social distance, wash their hands and not become "complacent" as restrictions begin to be lifted.

  5. 'Not over the line yet' - Michelle O'Neill

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill has described Northern Ireland recording no new Covid-19 related deaths for the first time since March 18 as "a good step forward" but has warned against complacency.

    In a twitter post, Ms O'Neill said the milestone was reached because of the "hard work and sacrifices" of people adhering to social distancing and following public health advice.

    However, she stressed that "we are not over the line yet" and people need to keep "working hard" in the fight against coronavirus.

    View more on twitter
  6. Public Health Agency guidance to stop Covid-19 spread

    As lockdown slowly begins to ease, the Public Health Agency (PHA) has issued guidance on how to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

    Here's what it advises:

    • Only go outside for permitted shopping, health reasons, work or one form of exercise a day. If you go out, stay 2m (6ft) away from other people at all times;
    • Groups of four to six people who do not share a household can meet outdoors, maintaining social distancing;
    • Avoid touching your face and wash your hands as soon as you get home;
    • All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough or fever or anosmia (a loss or a change in your normal sense of smell, which can also affect your sense of taste;
    • If you have symptoms, use the PHA's symptom checker here.
    View more on twitter
  7. Nine more people with Covid-19 die in Republic of Ireland

    A further nine people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland have died.

    It brings the overall number of deaths in the country to 1,615.

    The Irish Department of Health said there had been an additional 37 confirmed cases of the virus, bringing the overall number infected to 24,735.

  8. 'We are only glancing around the bend'

    Marie-Louise Connolly

    BBC News NI Health Correspondent

    This is the first day since 18 March that no Covid-19 related deaths were recorded in the previous 24 hours.

    Ten weeks ago we could only look forward to days like this.

    It means the total of 514 people who have died here after contracting the virus stays the same as yesterday.

    That figure relates mostly to deaths in hospitals. It also comes a day after the Republic of Ireland reported no daily deaths yesterday - also the first time, since mid March.

    A graph showing the cases of coronavirus and deaths linked to the virus

    It is positive news alongside the recent announcement of the closing down of the Nightingale Hospital in Belfast.

    Nightingale hospitals are non-permanent facilities that were set up across the UK to deal with the once expected surge in coronavirus patients.

    It provides us with hope, but we must remember there were eight deaths reported yesterday in Northern Ireland.

    There are still people being treated on ventilators and many more people still testing positive.

    It is also important to note that the Bank Holiday weekends may have had a slight affect on the gathering of those figures.

    It is only when we have a run of zeros that we will know for sure that we have turned the corner.

    At this stage, I think we are only glancing around the bend.

  9. 'Local retailers need a date to reopen'

    Belfast Chamber of Commerce is calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to follow England's example and set a date for non-essential retail to re-open.

    Non-essential retailers will re-open in England from 15 June, but is "contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus".

    Chamber chief executive Simon Hamilton told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme that "local retailers here need a date to work towards".

    Simon Hamilton

    Mr Hamilton said businesses here are looking at similar stores in the Republic of Ireland and England that are working towards re-opening dates and are wondering why they themselves have not been given the same luxury.

    Mr Hamilton said he believed that Northern Ireland retailers need an indication as to when they can feasibly begin to re-open to allow them time to put in place adequate safety measures.

    "I see no good reason why they [the executive] can't give an indication as to when retailers here can re-open," Mr Hamilton said.

    Mr Hamilton said that footfall will need to be managed in city centres, but added it can be controlled and done so safely.

  10. 'Trial by media is unseemly': DUP

    Dominic Cummings

    A DUP spokesman said the party's focus was on steering Northern Ireland through the pandemic rather than on the actions of the prime minister’s chief of staff.

    "We do not know all the details of Mr Cummings’ arrangements. Therefore, it is impossible to make a balanced judgement. His actions, circumstances and his future are a matter for the prime minister. Due process should be followed," the spokesman said.

    "Trial by media is unseemly in every circumstance but all the more so when a family home and elderly parents are involved.

    "Whether in Northern Ireland or elsewhere, no one is above the law. Public health regulations apply to everyone and must be upheld to protect us all."

    The spokesman added that some might want to use the matter "to settle old scores" but added the current health and looming economic crisis were both more important.

  11. Queen's English degree students to be taught remotely

    Michael Fitzpatrick

    BBC News NI

    Queen's University

    Students set to start degrees in English at Queen's University Belfast in September have been warned they will initially be taught remotely.

    A letter sent to prospective students envisages courses will combine online lectures, chat groups and video calls with "some face-to-face teaching".

    The author, Professor Moyra Haslett, said it was likely that, for the start of the academic year at least, teaching would be "entirely online".

    The plans were provisional, she added.

    Lectures usually held in university buildings would be conducted remotely, said Prof Haslett, from the School of Arts, English and Languages.

    Read more here.

  12. Cummings 'totally undermines public health message'

    Jayne McCormack

    BBC News NI political reporter

    SDLP leader and Foyle MP Colum Eastwood says he believes the British government has "lost any authority it had", after Dominic Cummings’ refusal to resign.

    He is among opposition party leaders at Westminster who have written to the prime minister urging him to sack Mr Cummings, “without further delay”.

    "It has stretched credibility in the extreme,” Mr Eastwood told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme.

    "It isn't about politics; it's about the fact you have a government trying to get people to abide by certain regulations, but its chief adviser is able to do whatever he wants.

    "That totally and utterly undermines the public health message."

    Colum Eastwood
  13. 'We must keep our resolve'

    Matt Hancock

    The UK's Health Secretary Matt Hancock has started the daily Westminster briefing by saying that for the first time since 18 March, there have been no deaths recorded in Northern Ireland.

    And he says the ONS statistics show the overall number of deaths are the lowest in six weeks.

    "The number of deaths is falling," he says. "We must keep our resolve."

  14. 'My mama told me there'll be days like this'

    stones coloured in

    There's a snake in Moat Park in Dundonald - well a snake made out of stones.

    Visitors to the park can take a stone home, decorate it and leave it back.

    rocks

    Set up by Dundonald Rocks, it's all in aid of lifting spirits during these uncertain times.

    Everyday it gets longer and longer as children bring back their hand painted rocks with messages of hope.

    rocks
  15. Dominic Cummings' actions were ill-judged - Swann

    Robin Swann

    Boris Johnson's chief aide's decision to travel 260 miles from London during the coronavirus lockdown was "ill-judged", NI's health minister has said.

    Dominic Cummings is facing calls to quit after he said he did not regret taking his family to Durham after his wife developed Covid-19 symptoms.

    Mr Cummings said he believed he had acted reasonably and legally.

    But NI Health Minister Robin Swann said: "No-one is above the guidance and regulations no matter who they are."

    Read more here

  16. NI still 'some way off' reopening barbers and hairdressers

    Bad news for anyone hoping to put home hairdressing experiments into the rear view mirror.

    Health Minister Robin Swann has told the daily coronavirus briefing: "We are still some way off going to the barbers or hairdressers."

    The absence of haircuts has been a major theme during lockdown, with some hairdressers offering virtual appointments, and newspaper reports of some Northern Ireland businesses continuing to operate illicitly.

    There is currently no guidance in Northern Ireland's roadmap to recovery published earlier this month as to when they will be able to open again.

  17. 'Don't undo the hard work'

    While Robin Swann was speaking on the first day Northern Ireland has reported zero coronavirus-related deaths since March, he was keen to caution against complacency.

    "If people get it into their heads that this emergency is over, the consequences will be catastrophic," he said.

    He warned that if people did become complacent, it would undo "the progress made over recent months" and "we will have to move back towards an entire lockdown".

    Swann

    Mr Swann also addressed the ongoing controversy around the Clifton Nursing Home in north Belfast, which has been closed following a series of failed inspections, with its 62 residents set to be relocated.

    The BBC revealed on Monday there had been nine Covid-19 related deaths at the home.

    The health minister said he had first become aware of the seriousness of the situation at the care home last week, and "intensive work" was continuing to support care homes across Northern Ireland.

    He also confirmed there would be a fourth national testing site for Covid-19 opening in Northern Ireland later this week in Enniskillen,County Fermanagh.

    There are currently sites at the SSE Arena in Belfast, City of Derry Rugby Club, and Craigavon MoT Centre.

  18. Stormont departments could 'run out of cash' this summer

    Conor Murphy

    Finance Minister Conor Murphy warns some Stormont departments could run out of cash in June and July due to coronavirus spending.

    Conor Murphy said one department could run out by 19 June and five departments could run out by the end of July.

    The minister spoke on Tuesday during an assembly debate about financing departments.

    The NI Executive has allocated an extra £1.2 billion as part of its response.

    Read more here

  19. Public should not 'lose sight' of virus fight amid Cummings row

    In today's daily coronavirus meeting, Health Minister Robin Swann has referred to the ongoing row about Boris Johnson's chief aide Dominic Cummings and urged the public to guard against complacency.

    Mr Swann was speaking after there were no new coronavirus-related deaths recorded in Northern Ireland in the past 24 hours - the first time that has happened since 18 March.

    "We all have been waiting for a day like this, and I do believe it is a clear sign of the progress that has been made in the battle against coronavirus," said Mr Swann.

    Robin Swann

    "However, I have to emphasize a serious note of caution. There are no grounds whatsoever for complacency.

    "That would be an insult to all of those who have sadly lost their lives, and to all those who are mourning them."

    The health minister noted that the news cycle over the past number of days has focused "almost entirely on the actions of a single individual".

    "As ill-judged as many of his actions were, I would urge everyone not to lose sight that we are very much still in the midst of this virus."

    Mr Cummings explained on Monday why he drove 260 miles in March from his London home to his parents' farm with his child and ill wife.

    His explanation has been backed by the prime minister but many MPs, including some Conservatives, have continued to call for him to resign.

  20. Operator in 'advanced talks' over Clifton Nursing Home

    Earlier we reported talks were taking place between the Deparment of Health and an independent care home company over the future of Clifton Nursing Home.

    Last Friday, the home, which is owned by Runwood Homes, was ordered to close following inspections by the regulator, the RQIA.

    Healthcare Ireland, which owns and operates 14 nursing homes across Northern Ireland, has now confirmed it is in talks to take on the management of the home.

    A spokesperson for Healthcare Ireland said it had been in negotiations since the end of last week.

    clifton

    “We are now in advanced talks on an agreement with the RQIA which would involve taking on the short-term management of the home," the spokesperson said.

    "We have a management team ready to move in as soon as this agreement is finalised.

    “This would mean the Clifton residents could stay where they are without the need to move them and this should give much-needed reassurance to both residents and their families.”