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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night!

    That's it from the live page team for today, you can join us again tomorrow for more updates on coronavirus.

    Today, Northern Ireland became the first part of the UK to allow all retailers to reopen for business.

    If you're going out to enjoy some well-earned retail therapy this weekend remember to keep your distance, stay safe and go on... buy those shoes you wanted.

  2. Thermal camera installed at The Oval

    Glentoran have been busy preparing for an eventual return to Irish Premiership football, whenever that may be.

    The club have installed a machine in the players’ entrance at their stadium, which automatically gauges temperatures of anyone seeking entry to the changing rooms or tunnel area.

    View more on twitter

    Meanwhile,Irish Premiership clubs are set to turn down both of the Northern Ireland Football League's proposals for how to end the current season.

    At a meeting on Thursday of all 12 clubs, they decided instead to tell NIFL they want to finish the campaign by playing all seven remaining matches.

  3. Carers share their experiences during Covid-19

    The Western Trust have been asking carers to share their experiences of how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted their caring roles.

    Caroline, who cares for her son, Rodney, tells of how some services that were once available are now no longer there.

    View more on twitter
  4. Key developments today

    Here's a quick recap of today's coronavirus-related stories in Northern Ireland and beyond:

    The Department of Health has reported one further Covid-19-related death in Northern Ireland, in its daily figures, bringing its total to 539.

    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says 41,481 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK, an increase of 202 from the day before.

    A further three people with Covid-19 have died in the Republic of Ireland, according to its Department of Health, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths there to 1,705.

    In other developments:

    • Northern Ireland's non-essential retailers have reopened after lockdown restrictions were eased
    • Covid-19 related deaths in Northern Ireland have fallen for the sixth consecutive week, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra)
    • A £24m package is needed to prevent the collapse of Northern Ireland's arts sector during the Covid-19 crisis, industry representatives have said
    • There was a "significant reduction" in reported crime during the Covid-19 lockdown in the Republic of Ireland, but there was a 25% increase in calls about domestic abuse
    • Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey says he will be "ready to take action" to help the UK economy weather the coronavirus crisis after figures showed it shrank by 20.4% in April
  5. Retail worker 'panicking' over childcare provision


    A Belfast retail worker has said she is "panicking" with regard to childcare provision as she prepares to return to work.

    "I thought something would have been in place before I went back to work, and I am due back to work next week," she told BBC NI's Evening Extra.

    "I have three younger children that I need care for," the woman, who is called Carol, said.

    "They were all in school, but they had childcare facilities after - pick-ups and drop-offs.

    "I don't have that any more and I'm really stuck.

    "The whole panic of what do I do now? It's scary."

  6. Executive to discuss further guidance for childcare sector next week

    Childcare centres have still not been given the go-ahead to start operating again, with both formal and informal childcare provisions to be discussed by the executive again next week.

    The first and deputy first ministers held a meeting with the health and education ministers this evening, with a view to providing more information for the childcare sector.

    However, a spokesperson for the Department of Education has confirmed that there will be no change to the current guidance yet, but said ministers will provide further updates "as soon as possible" and "understand the urgency of this."


    At present, only vulnerable children and children of key workers can avail of childcare, but last week the definition of a key worker was expanded, ahead of more sectors of the economy reopening today.

    The spokesperson said that the executive understands that “childcare is a crucial part of our recovery from coronavirus" and is "a key priority for the executive".

    "Extensive work is underway between the relevant departments to progress this and guidance issued to the childcare providers and parents earlier this week.

    "The wider issue of both formal and informal childcare provision will be discussed again by the executive next week," the spokesperson said.

  7. Coronavirus: What is a recession?

    The UK, along with much of the rest of the world, is thought to be heading into the worst recession for decades.

    In normal times, a country's economy grows.

    Its citizens, on average, get slightly richer as the value of the goods and services it produces - its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) - increases.

    But sometimes the value of goods and services produced falls.

    bank notes

    A recession is usually defined as when this happens for two three-month periods - or quarters - in a row.

    Most of the developed world saw negative growth - or falling GDP - for January to March 2020, as the economic impact of coronavirus began to hit.

    In the UK, the economy shrank by 2% from January to March, according to the Office for National Statistics. It then shrank by 20.4% in April - the largest monthly contraction on record - in its first full month in lockdown.

    Read our full story covering the following questions:

    • What is a recession?
    • Why does it matter if there is a recession?
    • Are we in recession yet?
    • How could a recession affect me?
    • How long was the last recession?
    • When will the recession end?
    • What can be done?
  8. BreakingThree more Covid-19 deaths in Republic of Ireland

    A further three people with Covid-19 have died in the Republic of Ireland.

    One previously reported Covid-19 death has been "denotified" according to the Irish Department of Health, which means the total number of coronavirus-related deaths now stands at 1,705.

    In terms of new infections, a further 13 cases were confirmed on Friday, taking the total number of confirmed cases to 25,250 since the outbreak began.

  9. 'I am nervous, but it's good to be back'

    Cleaning products in shop
    Image caption: X

    Clodagh Shortt of Honey boutique on Belfast's Lisburn Road has been interviewed on BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme about the reopening of retailers.

    She admitted to being "nervous" and outlined some of the safety measures that had been put in place.

    "It is different, customers are going to be asked to wear plastic gloves to touch products and when they try on footwear it will be a disposable footsock," she said.

    "When they try on clothing, we will be steaming the garments afterwards.

    "It is going to be a one-way system and there will be a limit on the number of people in the store at any time."

    She added:"It is a very different time for us all in retail, in business in general, but it is good to be back."

  10. Sports Hardship Fund increased by £495,000

    Sports stadium

    Sport NI has invested a further £495,000 into the Sports Hardship Fund to meet the demand from existing applicant sports clubs facing hardship as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    As of Friday 5 June, £566,000 had been paid to 283 sports clubs and organisations so far from over 30 different sporting activities.

    A total of 402 applications for hardship assistance were received.

    Applications had to be suspended at one stage after being over-subscribed.

    Read more on this story here.

  11. Evening Extra: 'Important people feel safe when using public toilets'

    Public toilets in parks run by the Department of Agriculture are due to re-open from Monday, with cafes serving food and hot drinks allowed to trade there.

    However, there is still no guidance on whether or not public toilets can re-open at the retail outlets which have started operating again from today.

    Raymond Martin, managing director of the British Toilet Association, tells Evening Extra there is no official guidance yet from the government on toilets and says that there are real concerns over hygiene in public toilets amidst the pandemic.

    He says many councils have been struggling financially and therefore some toilets' sanitary conditions have "gone down from what is acceptable".

    Public Toilets

    "It's important we bring public toilets back up to an acceptable level," Mr Martin said.

    "It's important people feel safe when they use these facilities," he added.

    He tells the programme there are fears among people having to go in and use public toilets during the pandemic.

    Mr Martin said that toilets are a "vital piece of the infrastructure" when we go and visit parks and beaches and believes that they are not respected.

    He says it is up to everyone to ensure that all public toilets are kept hygienic and that not just key workers are tasked with cleaning them.

  12. 'Surreal to reopen' as lockdown measures eased further

    shoppers derry

    The owner of a Londonderry antiques shop tells BBC Radio Foyle that reopening on Friday felt “surreal”.

    “We’ve been closed since the Saturday before lockdown,” Simon O’Dowd says.

    He says he has “been in periodically” to check phone messages and mail.

    He has introduced a number of new measures including screens and a buzzer entry system to control shopper numbers.

    “It is good to be back,” he says, “but it is strange”.

  13. Crime rates fell during lockdown, but domestic abuse rose

    There was a "significant reduction" in reported crime during the Covid-19 lockdown in the Republic of Ireland, but there was a 25% increase in calls about domestic abuse.

    Gardaí (Irish police) have released crime figures covering a three-month period from March to May.

    Compared to the same period last year:

    • theft from person crime fell by 62%
    • burglaries fell by 44%
    • car thefts fell by 43%
    • theft from shops fell by 39%
    • sexual offences fell by 38%

    Gardaí said that although there had been a general reduction in crime figures during lockdown, "crime has not stopped and criminals continue to look for opportunities to exploit".

    Even though most retailers had to shut their doors in mid-March, there were more than 3,800 reports of shoplifting over the last three months.

    There were also over 2,000 burglaries and more than 1,100 pedal cycles and 540 vehicles were stolen.

    Garda officer

    The rise in reported domestic abuse during lockdown - up by a quarter on the same time last year - was accompanied by a 18% increase in referrals to the child protection agency, Tusla.

    Gardaí said this was "consistent with the increase in domestic abuse calls" as it is their policy to notify Tusla where children are present.

    Lockdown also saw a rise in online and financial crime:

    • account take over fraud rose by 56%
    • online shopping/auction fraud increased by 55%
    • phishing and scams by phone and text rose by 45%

    There was a significant decrease in the number of traffic collisions, apart from fatal crashes which were actually higher than in the same period in 2019.

  14. Department reports 202 more deaths in the UK

    The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) says 41,481 people have died in hospitals, care homes and the wider community after testing positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 17:00 BST on Thursday.

    This is an increase of 202 from 41,279 the day before.

    The government figures do not include all deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK.

  15. Uber to make face coverings mandatory

    Ride-sharing giant Uber is to make it mandatory for passengers and drivers to wear face coverings from Monday in the UK.

    The minicab app firm said it was taking measures "to help everyone stay safe" and had introduced measures to give drivers access to protective equipment.

    Face coverings will become compulsory on public transport and in hospitals in England from Monday.

    Driver with face cover
  16. 'Different levels of risk with trying on clothes' - virologist

    With restrictions on shopping being eased, there will be different levels of risk involved in trying on different items of clothing, a leading virologist has said.

    Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme, Dr Lindsay Broadbent from Queen's University compared the different risks between trying on shoes, and trying on something you would pull over your face.

    "There is risk involved really in touching and trying on everything, but the risk will be varied," she said.

    A shopping centre

    "If you are pulling a shirt or a jumper over your face, that obviously carries more risk than if you were trying on a shoe, for example, because the actual garment will be going past your eyes, your nose, and your mouth, which is how this virus gets in and infects us."

    Asked about an example in Newry of a shop allowing customers to try shoes by using a sock they keep in store, she described it as "a good way forward" - it would allow them to carry on their business without disinfecting everything each time someone tried something on.

    Shop open sign
  17. Hospitality sector 'could turn to dust'

    Belfast restaurateur Michael Deane said we need to learn to cope with the virus.

    "If you don't get back to work within the next three or four weeks you're going to have nothing left for people to go back to enjoy," he said.

    "We're ready to go, we deserve a chance.

    "If the people are wanting to come out to have a social life and enjoy themselves again you're going to have to act very, very quickly, because it's about to turn to dust."

  18. Extra bit of sparkle in Newry

    Clodagh Rice

    BBC News NI business correspondent

    There did not appear to be big queues for shops in Newry, nothing like the scenes we saw when IKEA reopened in Belfast.

    From speaking to businesses, they are saying this is a good thing because it is a lot more manageable in terms of customers coming in.

    Newry shopping centre

    I visited a jeweller in the city this morning and if you are buying for a special occasion, it is going to be an expensive purchase and you will want to try the item on.

    The jeweller in Newry had a UV (ultraviolet) box and she placed the jewellery in there for three minutes and the items are then sanitised.

    Elsewhere, in one shoe shop, customers were allowed to try on shoes, but they had to wear a sock that was provided.

    Shop with sanitising sign
  19. Muted reaction to retail freedoms in Enniskillen

    Julian Fowler

    BBC News NI

    Obviously on a normal shopping day, you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere to park your car.

    But most of the car parks are half empty which, I guess, gives you some indication that things aren't really back to normal.

    We've had some shops here actually reopen earlier in the week, they didn't wait until today, but some have opened today for the first time.


    The Erneside Shopping Centre got the news late yesterday - there aren't too many businesses there that have reopened.

    A few have their staff back in probably to get ready to reopen, maybe tomorrow.

    But it's also clear that some of those shops, some of the big names on the high street like Carphone Warehouse, they won't be reopening, after going into administration.

    I've been speaking to one independent trader here, a locksmith, he's discovered while his business was closed here, he's been getting just as much business online.

    So his plan is to actually close up his shop permanently and just do his business from his van.

  20. 'We are working towards 4 July to reopen' - hairdresser

    A Northern Ireland hairdresser has said the industry is broadly expecting to reopen on 4 July, although this has not yet been officially confirmed - and could change.

    Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster's Talkback programme, Paul Stafford said that it had been the assumption "for about the past month".

    Yesterday it was reported the Republic of Ireland was set to reopen hairdressers by the end of the month, bringing forward the date from 20 July.

    Mr Stafford said this had caused "uncertainty" in the sector.

    A man having his hair cut by a woman

    "Whatever happens in the Republic should replicate, or at least work in harmony with, what is happening up here," he said.

    "As an island we are facing the same problems, the same issues. I need to be sure that my staff are going to be safe, my clients are going to be safe, and that we take a responsible attitude to allow them to enjoy the experience in the salon."