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03 Mar 2021

Phased approach to easing lockdown in Northern Ireland announced

Northern Ireland will take a phased approach to relaxing lockdown rules, it has been announced.

The plan will see each sector of the economy move along a five-step scale, after Stormont ministers approved the strategy yesterday (Tuesday, March 2, 2021).

It is understood the plan focuses on nine key areas - retail; hospitality; education and young people; work; culture, heritage and entertainment; sports and leisure; travel and tourism; worship and ceremonies; home and community.

Each will emerge from lockdown in stages and no specific dates have yet been set. Northern Ireland's lockdown and accompanying stay-at-home message is currently in place until April 1.

Ministers have already made clear the blueprint will be led by data, not dates, with decisions on when to move between stages based on scientific and medical evidence, not the calendar.

Ministers will review the progress of the pathway at set points, understood to be every four weeks.

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