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Haircuts resume in Northern Ireland under latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions

Several sectors of the economy have returned.
Apr 23rd 2021, 9:23 AM 11,809 28

PEOPLE ACROSS NORTHERN Ireland can finally get their hair cut from today, following the latest easing of Covid-19 restrictions there.

Close contact services, outdoor visitor attractions and pubs and cafes are among those permitted to resume, along with driving tests and competitive sports.

Non-essential retail, gyms, swimming pools and outdoor hospitality will re-open next Friday, with a further easing of restrictions also expected on 24 May. 

From 30 April, up to 15 people, including children, from no more than three households can meet up outdoors in a private garden, maintaining social distancing.

People will also be able to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation within a household or bubble.

It follows the strong roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine across the UK in recent months, and First Minister Arlene Foster said yesterday that the North would move out of lockdown restrictions faster than planned if possible.

However, the DUP leader also warned that whether that happens will depend on how the new relaxations impact Covid-19 transmission rates.

“We have to see what the impact is of relaxations and then make an assessment as to whether we can move dates forward,” she said.

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill urged “caution to go alongside the lifting of the restrictions” and said that throughout the pandemic, the North has “tried to be as aligned as we can be” to the Republic of Ireland.

The Irish government is not due to announce relaxations until next month.

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Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that there would not be “perfect alignment” in the reopening of society with the North.

He said there will be “some gaps”, primarily due to to the differences in the speed of vaccination programmes in the two jurisdictions.

“Unfortunately just with the way the virus has spread, at different times, we have been at different stages and currently that’s where we are,” O’Neill said.

“I’m hopeful that as the vaccination programme rolls out across the 26 counties that we will get back to the point where we will be more aligned and also work together to deal with what is still going to be a challenging period ahead.”'s coronavirus newsletter cuts through the misinformation and noise with the clear facts you need to make informed choices. Sign up here

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