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Live Reporting

Ciara Colhoun, Niall Glynn and Luke Sproule

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    It's been another eventful day as Northern Ireland continues to ease its way out of lockdown.

    We'll be back with more updates tomorrow morning, join us then.

    We leave you with this lovely photo of a Ballycastle sunset, sent to us by Joe Brogan.


  2. Coronavirus Catch-up

    Coronavirus Catch-up will be back on the BBC News NI website at 19:00 with the latest on the pandemic. Our health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly and business reporter Richard Morgan will have the answers to your questions.

  3. The key developments on Monday

    Monday saw further measures to ease Northern Ireland's lockdown measures announced.

    Here's a round-up of today's developments:

    • Northern Ireland's hotels, bars, restaurants and cafes can reopen from 3 July
    • Self-catering accommodation such as caravans can open from 26 June.
    • Pubs that do not serve food will be allowed to sell alcohol outdoors, while alcohol will be able to be sold indoors if it accompanies a meal
    • Visitor attractions such as museums, and cultural heritage sites can reopen from 3 July as well.
    • Northern Ireland saw no Covid-related deaths in the past 24 hours. There were four new confirmed cases
    • The Republic of Ireland also recorded no new deaths, while there were 18 new positive tests
    • In the UK as a whole the number of deaths linked to coronavirus rose by 38 to 41,739.
  4. Second wave 'not a given but caution needed'

    Ultan Power

    Queen's University virologist Dr Ultan Power has said it is not a given that Northern Ireland will experience another surge in Covid cases or a second wave, but it is possible if people aren't cautious.

    Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra programme, Dr Power said NI is "only in the foothills" of the pandemic and if we don't pay attention to the risks "we could end up back where we were before".

    However, he said people are now more conscious and aware of the transmission of the virus

    "So I would hope that, mixed with some mitigating interactions that could be introduced by the assembly, coupled with people being a lot more cognisant now of the risks associated with it, that we could nip in the bud any flare-up that happens very very quickly," he said.

    "If we can succeed in doing that perhaps we can control it and prevent the kind of problems that we had during the pandemic between March and May."

  5. No new deaths in Republic of Ireland

    There have been no additional deaths of people with Covid-19 reported in the Republic of Ireland in the past 24 hours.

    The Department of Health has been notified of 18 new cases of the virus.

  6. Union "disappointed' over hospitality announcement

    After Economy Minister Diane Dodds confirmed self-catering accommodation will reopen on 26 June and other hospitality on 3 July, the Union Unite says it is "disappointing" its concerns have not been addressed.

    View more on twitter
  7. Childcare issue 'central to recovery'

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill has said that the executive can't take actions in one area without assessing the impact in other areas.

    "Central to our economic and society recovery is the issue of childcare," she said.

    "This is an issue that cuts across every aspect of our recovery and it must be prioritised and addressed.

    "Safely increasing capacity across the sector and streamlining application processes are crucial and we need to urgently implement a recovery strategy for childcare that focuses on need

    "The executive recognises how critical this issue is and the relevant departments are working to bring forward the strategic plan and we must work to make sure it's implemented quickly and implemented safely.

    "Again we'll be able to say more on that on Thursday."

  8. Seventy-five jobs under threat at Titanic Belfast

    The BBC understands that 75 jobs are under threat at the Titanic Belfast visitor centre.

    The company has started consultation over the potential redundancies.

    It is understood a further 11 positions are under threat at TBL International, an events company linked to Titanic Belfast and the SS Nomadic.

    In an email to staff, the chief executive of Titanic Belfast and TBL International, Judith Owens, said income streams had "dried up overnight" because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of the venues.

    She said it had used company reserves and maximized government support packages to cover liabilities, but this was "not a sustainable situation".


    In a statement to the BBC, the company said: "Titanic Belfast Ltd, the operator of Titanic Belfast, has notified the Department for the Economy and its staff that it is beginning a period of consultation in relation to its staffing structure to secure the future of its business.

    "This is an unavoidable situation given the challenging trading environment it is now operating in, due to the devasting impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the global tourism industry."

    Read more here.

  9. 'Great step forward' for city’s hospitality sector

    Belfast Chamber Chief Executive Simon Hamilton has said the NI hospitality and tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit and was "effectively shut down".

    Reacting to the news that the sector can open its doors again from 3 July he said it was "magnificent news and more than we could have wished for at a time. "

    drinks on a tray in beer garden

    There had been fears that it could be later this year before venues could re-open.

    "This now gives the hospitality and tourism sector, which is such a huge part of the Belfast economy, a chance to salivate something from this summer and work towards a hopefully brighter future," said Mr Hamilton.

    "Our hospitality and tourism industry has done some tremendous work on developing how it can reopen again in a way that is safe for staff and customers," he added.

  10. 'Bigger bubble' a possibility

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neil has said the executive is proposing that in the coming weeks two households of any size will be able to form "an exclusive bubble" with each other.

    "Our ability to move to this will depend on an assessment of risk at that time," she said.

    "But we hope that this will give people something to look forward to after such a long time without that close contact, which we know has been very difficult for many people."

    At the moment a so-called bubble is limited to a single person living alone, allowing them to go and stay with one other household.

  11. Indoor weddings still 'some time ahead'

    Indoor weddings are still too risky despite the imminent reopening of hotels and restaurants, the first minister has said.

    Arlene Foster said there was a still a limit on weddings, currently restricted to a maximum party of 10 people outside, due to the risks associated with indoor "mass gatherings".

    "Internal weddings would cause a difficulty and we have to be careful," she said.

    She added that some issues would need to be overcome to facilitate the relaxation of some of the rules around pavement cafes to help the hospitality industry this summer but said this was entirely possible.

    Mrs Foster said people must continue to work with them as lockdown is eased.

    “It is important people listen. If you work with us and take these steps with us then we will be able to step out of the lockdown we are in,” she said.

    “None of us want to take a step back and we need the public to work with us.”

    Arlene Foster
  12. The two-metre social distancing rule is 'under review'

    The First Minister has said social distancing will be kept under review in the days and weeks ahead.

    Arlene Foster said they recognised the hospitality industry's concerns about the two-metre social distancing rule.

    She said they were looking at rules in different countries, citing the one-metre rule in France and 1.5metre rule in Germany.

    "It is about minimising risk," she told today's briefing.

    "Today is a good news story because we have brought forward the indicative date [for reopening] and we will continue to consider other issues the industry is concerned about."

    "People want to move ahead but we have to be cognisant of the virus in the community," she said.

    "We are very much aware of the enormity of the decisions we are taking."

  13. Further review of regulations on Thursday

    Deputy First Minister Michelle O'Neill has said the executive has taken a number of decisions that signal positive progress on the pathway to recovery.

    "Our priority in the opening up of the hospitality and tourism sector is the safety of customers, staff and the wider community" she said.

    "The industry can now work towards these dates to ensure safe reopening in line with all the relevant legislation and guidance."

    Michelle O'Neill

    Ms O'Neill added: "As long as the scientific evidence is still showing us that we can keep moving forward in this direction we will continue to implement a steady rolling programme of relaxations."

    She said on Thursday the executive would officially review the regulations

    "We'd be hopeful that following that executive meeting it'll be in a position to come forward with some more good news of other sectors as per our plan, so for example our hairdressers and our barbers and looking to give indicative dates there also."

  14. Museums and historic houses may reopen

    Museums and historic houses will also be able to reopen from 3 July as the reopening of tourist accommodation and restaurants begins, the first minister has said.

    Speaking at today's daily briefing, Arlene Foster confirmed the reopening of hotels, bars and social clubs.

    Mrs Foster said the health service had weathered the storm but emphasised that we cannot be complacent following the confirmation of further spikes of Covid-19 in other countries.

    "It is vital to remember that Covid-19 has not been beaten and will not be beaten for some time," she said.

    Mrs Foster said she hoped to announce a date for bringing two households of any size together in a "bubble" in the next two weeks.

    She said there would also be a gradual increase in the number of families childcarers could cater for, while capacity gaps in childcare would also continue to be assessed.

    "The journey is far from over and we all have a role to play," she added.

  15. This is a 'good day for NI economy'

    Economy Minister Diane Dodds described the decision to reopen the hospitality sector from 3 July as a "good day for the Northern Ireland economy".

    "It's a good day for tourism and hospitality, and in particular a sector that has been incredibly hard hit by the lockdown."

    She stressed the plans were dependent on the transmission of the virus.

    "Everything is dependent on the advice that the chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser give us around the spread of the virus at that particular time," she added.

    Economy Minister Diane Dodds
  16. Watch the latest coronavirus briefing


    You can keep across all of the very latest developments at the daily Stormont coronavirus briefing if you scroll to the top of this page and hit play.

    No new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in NI in the past 24 hours - the total remains 541

    As we continue to move out of lockdown, Economy Minister Diane Dodds has announced that hotels, bars and restaurants here can reopen on 3 July.

    People will also be able to use self-contained caravans and holiday lets from 26 June.

    There'll be more on that from the first and deputy first ministers.

  17. The learners waiting to take their driving tests

    George Vane with his mum

    Hundreds of thousands of people have had their driving tests cancelled or delayed as a result of the pandemic.

    It has been more than just a minor inconvenience for those looking for work and caring for children, while instructors face a nervous wait to find out when and how they can return to work safely.

    Read more on this story here.

  18. BreakingNI hotels, bars and restaurants to open on 3 July


    It's official - Northern Ireland's hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars serving food will welcome customers once again on 3 July, nearly three weeks earlier than expected.

    Economy Minister Diane Dodds has also said that self-catering accommodation will be able to be used by guests even earlier, on 26 June.

    As the spread of coronavirus in Northern Ireland falls, Mrs Dodds said the move was about restarting the local hospitality sector.

    Hotels had been scheduled to open on 20 July, but many in the industry have been pressing for an earlier date, particularly after the Republic of Ireland said hospitality businesses can reopen from 29 June.

    The proposal is part of a plan to be discussed by the executive today.

  19. Solutions for overlooked workers 'stubbornly resisted' - Farry

    With the host of measures announced for businesses and employees during the coronavirus lockdown, some groups have still missed out.

    People who were recently hired, and those who had recently entered self-employment have been flagged as groups who did not meeting eligibility criteria for support.

    Tweeting a link to report from the Treasury Committee, Alliance MP Stephen Farry said it was "shocking" that more than one million people had missed out on support, and said solutions raised by MPs had been "stubbornly resisted".

    View more on twitter

    The report from the Treasury Committee identifies the groups which should be supported, and calls for action from the government.

    “If it is to be fair and completely fulfil its promise of doing whatever it takes, the government should urgently enact our recommendations to help those who have fallen through the gaps,” said Mel Stride, Conservative MP and chair of the Treasury Committee.

  20. France announces lifting of restrictions

    Emmanuel Macron on television

    French President Emmanuel Macron has announced a number of coronavirus restrictions are being lifted.

    Cafes and restaurants are reopening across France and travel to other European countries will be allowed.

    People will also be able to visit family members in retirement homes, which have been hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Germany, Belgium, Croatia and Switzerland are fully reopening borders with EU countries on Monday.

    Read more on this story here.