Great Britain

Northern Ireland lockdown: ‘Tentative’ roadmap out of restrictions unveiled

Stormont deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has outlined "tentative" preparatory steps towards the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

She said it was time to look forward in a hopeful way while recognising the huge risks which remained.

Ms O’Neill said: "Great care is still needed.

"That is why the Executive has agreed today a careful, cautious and hopeful approach to existing restrictions and we will be publishing that later today for everyone to see."

Ms O’Neill said the approach is, first and foremost, risk-based.

It will be driven by “health, community, economic data and analysis,” not hard dates. Ms O’Neill said they don’t want to set “potentially unachievable dates” that will “only disappoint.”

Stormont is committed to keeping the restrictions “only as long as is needed.”

The pathway out of lockdown will focus on the nine sectors “which are vitally important to our citizens and their families”.

These include: Home and community, education and young people, worship and ceremonies, sports and leisure activities, work, retail, hospitality, travel and tourism and culture, heritage and entertainment.In line with transparency, the pathway also explains how Stormont will take their decisions and the processes for that, Ms O’Neill said.

Although the pathway “recognises that there will be some adaptions in our lives,” Ms O’Neill hopes to reopen the education sector as quickly as possible.

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